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‘I Do It With Everyone’: Andrew Cuomo Defends Himself At Press Conference, Refuses To Resign

   DailyWire.com
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 14: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, Eric Adams, hold a joint news conference in Brooklyn where the two leaders spoke on the rising rates of gun violence across the city on July 14, 2021 in New York City. The governor announced that New York State will shortly offer 4,000 summer jobs and full-time jobs with training for youth in high crime neighborhoods. Shootings are up across the city with numerous children as victims in recent incidents.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference shortly after the state Attorney General concluded that he sexually harassed “multiple women” and retaliated against one of the accusers. 

During the presser, Cuomo denied ever touching or making inappropriate advances on women. He claims that “the facts” are different from how the media has portrayed the allegations. 

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances … That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”

Cuomo talked specifically about one of the sexual assault allegations lobbed against him by his former assistant Charlotte Bennettt. Bennett alleged that Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life, whether she had a monogamous relationship, and if she would consider having a sexual relationship with an older man. 

The governor also shared a slideshow of pictures with him kissing and hugging men and women in public. He argued that he makes these “gestures” with everyone as a sign of “warmth.” 

Cuomo refused to resign and said that he had hired an “expert” to redesign the sexual harassment training for the New York state government. He also blamed “politics” and “bias” for the accusations made against him. 

Watch: 

It has been a hard and a painful period for me and my family. Especially as others feed ugly stories to the press. But I cooperated with a review, and I can now finally share the truth. 

My attorney, who is a non-political, former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation. And the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. … 

First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old, I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been. 

There is one complaint that has been made that bothered me most. That was a complaint that was made by a young woman Charlotte Bennett, who worked in my office. And it’s important to me that you fully understand this situation. Charlotte worked in my office last year as an assistant, she was smart, talented, and eager to learn. She identified herself to me as a survivor of sexual assault. She said that she came to my administration because of all the progress we had made in fighting sexual assault. She talked about the personal trauma that she endured and how she was handling it. I could see how it was affecting her. I could see her pain. Why was I even talking to this young woman? … I did ask her questions that I don’t normally ask people. … 

I have heard Charlotte and her lawyer and I understand what they are saying. But they read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They ascribe motives I never had. And simply put, they heard things that I just didn’t say. … 

The New York Times published a front page picture of me touching a woman’s face at a wedding and then kissing her on the cheek. That is not front page news. I’ve been making the same gesture in public all my life. I actually learned it from my mother and from my father. It is meant to convey warmth. …

I do it with everyone. Black and white. Young and old. Straight and LGBTQ. Powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street. … 

I do kiss people on the forehead. I kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand. I do embrace people. I do hug people. Men and women. I do, on occasion, say, “ciao bella.” On occasion, I do slip and say “sweetheart” or “darling” or “honey.” I do banter with people. I do tell jokes. Some better than others. I am the same person in public as I am in private. … 

Now the state already has an advanced sexual harassment training program for all employees, including me. But I want New York state government to be a model of office behavior. And I have brought in an expert to design a new sexual harassment policy and procedures and to train the whole team, myself included. I accept responsibility and we are making changes. … 

Politics and bias are interwoven throughout every aspect of this situation. One would be naive to think otherwise. … 

And for those who are using this moment to score political points or seek publicly or personal gain, I say they actually discredit the legitimate sexaul harassment victims that the law was designed to protect. 

Related: ‘He’s A Monster And Deserves To Go In Shame’: Janice Dean Buries Cuomo After Sexual Harassment Report

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