President Joe Biden on Sunday refused to call on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct, saying he wanted to await the outcome of an investigation into the matter.
Asked on returning from Delaware if Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, should step down, Biden told reporters: “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what comes to us.”
Cuomo faces accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct dropped by at least seven women, including former maids, and was forced from disclosure that his administration suppressed the number of nurse residents killed in state of COVID-19.
On Friday, New York’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and most of the state congressional delegation, including leading progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, urged Cuomo, who is in third term as governor, to resign.
Cuomo, 63, who is divorced, reiterated his denial of the allegations on Friday and said it was “reckless and dangerous” for politicians to ask him to resign before they know all the facts.
“Women have the right to come and be heard, and I fully encourage that. But I also want to clarify: There is still a question of fact. I haven’t done what is suspected, period,” Cuomo said on a call with reporters.
Asked if he had a consensual romantic relationship with any of the women, Cuomo said he did not intend to make anyone uncomfortable, and he apologized if he had.
On Sunday, Democratic U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to join the call for Cuomo’s resignation, telling ABC’s “This Week” program that the allegations should be investigated.
“What these women said should be treated with respect. They are credible and serious charges,” Pelosi said. “The governor has to look inside his heart – he loves New York – to see if he can manage effectively. “
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who often doesn’t argue with Cuomo, told CBS “Face the Country” that he didn’t think the governor would resign quickly.
“I think a continuation of the impeachment will start, and I think he will be impeachable and probably right before he decides to resign,” the Democratic mayor said. “He should resign right now because he’s thwarting our efforts to fight COVID. He’s literally on the way to saving lives right now.”
Republican Governors Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Larry Hogan of Maryland were both denied separate appearances on news programs on Sunday to call for Cuomo’s resignation, but said the allegations need to be investigated.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Kim Coghill and Peter Cooney)