President Joe Biden said Tuesday that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if the several sexual misconduct allegations against him are confirmed by an investigation.
In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, the president said that the three-term Democratic governor must leave his post if an independent investigation commissioned by New York Attorney General Letitia James confirms the allegations made by multiple women, most of whom worked for Cuomo.
“I know you said you want the investigation to continue,” Stephanopoulos told Biden. “If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?”
The president replied yes, adding, “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”
As of Tuesday, seven women in recent weeks have accused Cuomo of engaging in sexual misconduct with them. Most of the women said they had worked for Cuomo at the time of the alleged sexual harassment and assault, and all have revealed their identities ― except for one, whose allegation that he groped her in the Governor’s Mansion was referred to police in Albany, New York.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations, giving an apology in which he said his actions were not inappropriate. The governor has refused to resign ― questioning the accusers’ motivations, alleging the misconduct was a misunderstanding and insinuating that he is the victim of “cancel culture.”
The mounting accusations ― combined with a separate scandal in which the governor underreported New York’s COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes ― have resulted in a growing list of lawmakers and public officials who are calling on Cuomo to resign.
But Biden stopped just short of joining the lawmakers in demanding Cuomo’s immediate resignation in Tuesday’s interview, saying that “a woman should not be scapegoated and become victimized by her coming forward.”
“Takes a lot of courage to come forward,” the president said. “So, the presumption is they should be taken seriously. And it should be investigated. And that’s what’s underway now.”
When Stephanopoulos asked Biden if Cuomo can serve New York effectively, the president said “that’s a judgment for them to make,” referring to the New York Assembly, senators and most of the congressional delegation who no longer believe in Cuomo’s ability to govern.