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Cuomo faces growing pressure to resign amid sexual harassment allegations

Cuomo faces growing pressure to resign
New York Governor Cuomo faces growing pressure to resign 02:11

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been keeping a low profile — a stark contrast from his popular daily briefings in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic — amid growing pressure for him to resign after a third woman came forward to allege inappropriate conduct. 

Cuomo has been out of sight but top Democrats in Washington, D.C., couldn't avoid the topic of the governor under fire. 

"Every woman coming forward should be heard, should be treated with dignity and treated with respect," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. 

On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York senator, called the allegations serious but stopped short of saying the governor should resign. "The allegations that have been made by Ms. Ruch and Ms. Boylan and Ms. Bennett are serious, very troubling. These women have to be listened to," he said. 

Senator Kristen Gillibrand, also of New York, called the alleged behavior "completely unacceptable."

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 22, 2021.  SETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty

Lindsey Boylan, a former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, accused Cuomo of giving her an unwanted kiss and making inappropriate comments. Charlotte Bennett, a former health policy adviser to Cuomo, claimed Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life, including whether she had ever had sex with older men. 

The women's allegations prompted New York Attorney General Letitia James to launch an investigation. James said Monday that the findings of the investigation would be made public after its completion. 

After James announced the investigation, Anna Ruch accused the governor of touching her lower back and face and asking if he could kiss her at a wedding reception in 2019. 

Boylan and Bennett both tweeted their support for Ruch. "I feel nauseous thinking about Anna's experience," Boylan wrote. "Charlotte and I are with you, Anna." 

Cuomo has denied sexually harassing anyone, but his denials have gained little traction among members of his own party, some of whom are calling for him to step down. On Monday night, U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice became one of the highest-profile Democrats in New York to demand Cuomo's resignation. 

The allegations coincide with scrutiny over Cuomo's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Cuomo is facing a separate investigation over nursing home deaths during the pandemic. 

The state legislature, controlled by Democrats, announced Tuesday it will repeal the governor's temporary emergency powers in response to that investigation. 

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