News and Commentary

Female Reporter Says Cuomo’s ‘Eat Whole Sausage’ Remark Not Harassment: It Was An ‘Informal’ Event
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that restaurants can be open for in-door dining on September 30 at 3rd ave office
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

A video showing Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) challenging a female reporter to eat an entire sausage in front of him has resurfaced online in light of the recent sexual harassment allegations launched against the Democrat.

The reporter, Beth Cefalu, however, has denied that the interaction has anything to do with the recent allegations, emphasizing that she did not feel “pressured” or “harassed” by Cuomo when he made the challenge during an “informal” media event at the 2016 New York State Fair.

“I was not pressured/harassed this is two people enjoying the one event – the NYS fair – that gives them a little more freedom to be informal. It’s really sad it’s being turned into anything more,” Cefalu posted to Twitter.

“This is why people hate ‘the media,'” she added, “misleading headlines and one-sided articles twisting reality. It’s really sad that any media will turn fun at the fair into some sleazy scandal that it wasn’t.”

The reporter similarly told Fox News in a statement, “The governor was trying to be nice and got me some food. It’s probably the one day of year or story of the year he and I can be a little informal and that’s what this was nothing more. He did not pressure me – he was not hitting on me nor did I feel harassed in anyway.”

Fox News outlined the resurfaced video as follows:

“I want to see you eat the whole sausage,” Cuomo can be heard telling Cefalu, as his daughter Michaela sits quietly next to him. A now-former aide to Cuomo could be seen handing Cefalu a sandwich.

“I don’t know if I should eat the whole sausage in front of you, but I’m definitely going to eat it,” Cefalu responds.

Cuomo then invites Cefalu to sit at his table. Before eating, Cefalu snaps a selfie with the governor while holding up her food.

“There’s too much sausage in that picture,” Cuomo says, prompting laughter from others at the table.

Cuomo has been accused by at least two women of sexual misconduct. Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan claims she was sexually harassed and forcibly kissed on the mouth by the governor before she resigned from her position.

Charlotte Bennett, a low-level aide in the Democrat’s administration until November, says she was “asked inappropriate questions about her sex life, including whether she ever had sex with older men, and made other comments she interpreted as gauging her interest in an affair,” Fox News reported.

The embattled governor responded to the accusations on Sunday, emphasizing that he’s often “playful” and makes “jokes” while on the job.

“Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office,” the statement said, The Daily Wire reported. “I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work, and colleagues are often also personal friends. At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married.”

“I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business,” the governor continued. “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”

“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to,” concluded Cuomo. “That’s why I have asked for an outside, independent review that looks at these allegations. Separately, my office has heard anecdotally that some people have reached out to Ms. Bennett to express displeasure about her coming forward. My message to anyone doing that is you have misjudged what matters to me and my administration and you should stop now – period.”

H/t The Daily Caller 

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