In a New York Times report titled, “Uprising Grows Over Cuomo’s Bullying and ‘Brutalist Political Theater,’” it was alleged that the New York Governor had threatened to publicly liken a opponent to a “child rapist.” In the latest New York Times podcast, an audio recording of this conversation confirms these previously-denied allegations to be accurate.
After describing the response to the question, “Who in this room has been yelled at or bullied by Andrew Cuomo?” the initial report added that “The theme suffuses many of Mr. Cuomo’s interactions — accounts in which the governor berated aides and elected officials, brought people to tears and threatened to fire them or end their careers. People outside the governor’s direct control who have clashed with him said he told them they would be subject to negative news stories or political challenges or, in one case, would be publicly likened to a ‘child rapist.’”
“‘His primary tool for governing is to create fear,’ said Karen Hinton, a communications consultant who worked with Mr. Cuomo when he was housing secretary in the Clinton administration and has since fallen out with him,” the report added.
“In the fall of 2018, for example, when Mr. Cuomo was told by a leader of the Working Families Party — which had backed his primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon — that it would endorse him in the general election because he was better than a Republican, Mr. Cuomo’s response was blunt,” the report continued. “‘If you ever say, ‘Well he’s better than a Republican’ again, then I’m going to say, ‘You’re better than a child rapist,’’ the governor said, according to two people who were on the call. ‘How about that?’”
“The snippet of the 2018 call was first made public on Friday, almost a month after the Times reported the outburst and the governor’s spokespeople denied the reporting. The Times first shared the audio in an episode of The Daily podcast that aired Friday morning,” reported NBC New York.
“The conversation starts at 17:20 in the podcast, but pick it up at around the sixteen-minute mark for the full context. WFP leader Bill Lipton clearly wants to find a way to maintain their own agenda while supporting Cuomo, and seems to wonder why Cuomo’s so unhappy about the comment. Lipton tells Cuomo that they’re fine with the same formulation about them in reverse. Cuomo refuses to allow any criticism, threatening twice to compare the WFP publicly to child rapists. As Michael Barbaro’s guest Shane Goldmacher notes later, Cuomo then repaid the WFP for their support by trying to change ballot-access rules to significantly reduce their power,” Hot Air reported.
Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi claimed that the governor does not remember the conversation.
“This three-year-old conversation happened after a very contentious political campaign where things were charged on all sides. He doesn’t remember it occurring, but from how it has been described he was clearly being hyperbolic to illustrate the offensive nature of the WFP’s own name calling,” Azzopardi told NBC New York, according to their report.