New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to resign on Friday while facing immense pressure from dozens of top Democrats to step down.
Dozens of lawmakers and top party officials have piled on the Democratic governor in recent days, calling for Cuomo to resign over multiple allegations of sexual harassment as well as reports that his administration hid the true impact of COVID-19 on the state’s nursing homes. Cuomo responded to the calls in a press call on Friday.
“I did not do what has been alleged. Period,” Cuomo said on the call. He went on to say that he will wait for investigations into his conduct to play out so that the “facts” are known.
The governor said that he would not “speculate” on the motivations of those accusing him of sexual harassment before adding that “there are often many motivations for making an allegation and that is why you need to know the facts before you make a decision.”
“Serious allegations should be weighed seriously, right? That’s why they are called serious,” Cuomo said. “Politicians who don’t know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous.”
Cuomo went on to suggest that he was being targeted by opportunists and political enemies and is a victim of “cancel culture.”
“People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture and the truth. Let the review proceed. I am not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians. I was elected by the people. Part of this is I am not part of the political club. And you know what? I’m proud of it,” Cuomo said. He also added that he has been under public scrutiny since he ran his father’s gubernatorial campaign at 23 years old.
Cuomo’s refusal to step down comes as top Democrats at the state and national level have piled pressure on the New York governor to resign as he faces multiple scandals over his governance during the pandemic and over allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women. On Friday morning, New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House, called on Cuomo to resign saying the governor “lost the confidence of the people of New York.”
“Governor Cuomo is guaranteed due process under law. Although his accusers are credible and the charges against him are serious indeed, the investigations under way by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and the Albany police must be permitted to run their course before we reach judgment about his liability for any alleged criminal act,” Nadler said. “But there is a difference between formal investigations that may end in criminal charges and a question of confidence in our political leadership. The question before us is squarely a political judgment.”
“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” he added.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.