President Joe Biden called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down on Tuesday, in hours after the release of a bombshell report that found Cuomo had sexually harassed several women.
“I think he should resign,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact.”
The report, released by the New York attorney general’s office, found that Cuomo had engaged in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, as well as making inappropriate comments, with former and current staffers, as well as some members of the public and other state employees. One of the employees was a state trooper assigned to his protective detail, according to the report.
Other Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and almost every member of the New York Democratic congressional delegation, have previously called on Cuomo to resign. But Biden’s Tuesday statement represents a rift between two of the nation’s top Democrats and a dramatic fall for Cuomo, who as recently as last year was hailed as a hero of the coronavirus pandemic.
New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, said that Cuomo should resign back in March, and the pair reiterated their stance Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said on Tuesday that Cuomo should give up the governorship.
“As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the governor to resign.”
In a speech Tuesday after the release of the report, Cuomo denied that he had ever touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.
“I have lived my entire adult life in public view,” he said. “That is just not who I am and that is not who I have ever been.”