ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is having a hard time holding his tongue.
The embattled governor lashed out Thursday, arguing it’s “not fair” that the multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment have shared their stories publicly.
“What has happened is, the complainants have continued to go to the press and make their complaint in the press,” Cuomo said during an appearance in Buffalo. “And I have not been able to respond. That’s not fair and it’s not right.”
Cuomo said he has yet to talk to independent investigators hired by Attorney General James’ office last month to probe the allegations made against him. But he can’t wait to share his side of the story.
“I have not, but I can tell you this, I have tried to be respectful of the process,” he said. “At the same time, it has been very difficult letting people make accusations and not responding. And people have only heard one side of the story.
“People have heard one side of the story, I can’t tell you how eager I am to tell my side of the story,” he added.
Nine women, including current and former staffers, say the 63-year-old Democrat made unwanted advances or inappropriate comments toward them, accusations that have led to calls for Cuomo’s resignation.
The first woman to come forward was Lindsey Boylan, a former adviser to the governor who detailed in an online essay how Cuomo made inappropriate comments and once tried to kiss her on the mouth.
One current aide, whose name has not been made public, says the governor groped her last year when she was called to the Executive Mansion to assist him with his phone.
The governor, however, has dug in his heels, denying any wrongdoing and claiming he neither touched anyone inappropriately nor “intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”
He is now facing an outside probe into the women’s claims being overseen by the attorney general’s office, a federal probe into the state’s mishandling of data related to COVID deaths in nursing homes and an impeachment investigation in the Assembly.
In recent days, reporters have pressed the governor on the claims against him after he refused to hold in-person briefings for months, citing COVID concerns.
In response to the deluge of questions about the allegations, the governor has grumbled that he did nothing wrong and repeatedly voiced frustration about being unable to tell his version of events.
“I’m trying to be respectful, but I’m very eager to tell my side of the story,” he said. “Any good reporter, any good lawyer, any savvy New Yorker, knows there’s always two sides to the story.”
Cuomo also pushed back on recent reports detailing how his administration repeatedly sought to hold back on releasing the true COVID death toll in nursing homes during the height of the pandemic.
The governor argued that accuracy was the main concern amid the months-long delay and that the data had been politicized by the Trump administration.
“This was all politics and all a political football, and then morphed into an investigation, which makes the lawyers very careful about the information they put out,” he said. “It had to be accurate… Whatever number we put out had to be accurate because it was being criticized by both sides.”
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