The Latest: Live updates as Cuomo announces resignation
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigning over sexual harassment allegations (all times local):
The White House has weighed in on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation over sexual harassment allegations.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that President Joe Biden did not speak with Cuomo before his resignation and Cuomo did not give the administration advance notice.
Biden and Cuomo were once close allies. But the president called for Cuomo to step down last week in response to an independent investigations’ findings.
Psaki said those views “stand” and that “this is a story about these courageous women who came forward.”
Psaki said that Biden has yet to speak to Kathy Hochul, who will take over in two weeks. But Psaki added that the administration looks forward to working with her.
Votes of confidence have come pouring in for Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is set to take the reins to New York from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in two weeks.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told reporters at the U.S. Capitol that Hochul is “ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor.” She said she would be there to support Hochul as she governs the state through “a very difficult and challenging time.”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called Tuesday “a somber day,” but called Hochul a “dedicated leader” with whom she would work with to continue tackling the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy.
Former Democratic Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said in a Twitter statement that Hochul was motivated to run for lieutenant governor by “duty to serve, not any personal ambition.”
He added that “no one could be better suited” to become New York’s first female governor.
An attorney for two women who accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment said her clients were “vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone.”
Mariann Wang represents Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis.
Executive assistant McGrath said Cuomo made inappropriate comments, including commenting on her neckline after staring down her loose shirt, regularly asking about her marital status and asking whether she would tell on another aide if she were to cheat on her husband.
Limmiatis is an energy company worker who said Cuomo ran his fingers on the lettering that ran across the chest of her shirt when they met in a rope line at a 2017 event. He then told her he was going to say there was a spider on her shoulder and proceeded to brush her chest with his hand.
Wang castigated what she described as Cuomo’s efforts to “gaslight and attack the brave women who came forward,” which ultimately “apparently served no purpose.”
The leader of New York’s Senate Republicans, state Sen. Rob Ortt, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation was a small step toward accountability.
Ortt said Cuomo’s “resignation is welcome, but it stops short of the justice his victims and the people of New York deserve.”
Ortt called for the FBI, state attorney general and other authorities to continue investigating “all of the possible crimes related to our state’s nursing homes crisis and the Governor’s questionable book deal.”
Ortt said that Democrats, who control both the Assembly and state Senate, failed to hold Cuomo accountable. The Assembly’s judiciary committee met Monday to discuss how to conclude their probe of Cuomo’s conduct with women, among other matters.
New York’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, will become the state’s first female governor in two weeks.
She’s spent years on the road as the friendly face of the administration. During two terms, she has visited each of the state’s 62 counties yearly for countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies and civic cheerleading events.
Now, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation Tuesday, her next stop is the state Capitol in Albany.
The centrist Democrat from western New York last week joined the chorus of politicians denouncing the governor over sexual harassment allegations. The 62-year-old Hochul is a veteran politician who served briefly in Congress.
In a statement, she said Cuomo’s decision to step down “is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.”
After announcing his resignation effective in 14 days, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directly addressed his three daughters.
The Democrat said he never did or would “intentionally disrespect a woman or treat a woman differently than I would want them treated.”
He shares his adult daughters — Michaela, Mariah and Cara — with ex-wife Kerry Kennedy.
Continuing to directly address them, he told them: “Your dad made mistakes. And he apologized. And he learned form it. And that’s what life is all about.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in New York. The resignation announced Tuesday will take effect in 14 days.
The third-term Democratic governor was increasingly isolated as state Assembly members moved toward impeachment and allies deserted him following last week’s report from state Attorney General Letitia James that detailed 11 women’s claims of sexual harassment.
Cuomo denied behaving inappropriately with any of the women who have accused him of harassment and had resisted calls for his resignation from top Democrats, including President Biden.