House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday stopped short of calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign after dozens of top Democrats in his state urged him to step down over sexual harassment allegations.
Pelosi told ABC News’ “This Week” that the accusations against Cuomo are “credible” and “serious” but suggested she’s waiting to see the results of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the matter.
“What I said at the time that these revelations came forward, I said what these women have said must be treated with respect,” Pelosi said, adding that she has “confidence” in James’s investigation.
“In terms of generally speaking, people have to look inside themselves and say ― and Gov. Cuomo also ― how effective is their leadership in leading the state under the circumstances that are there,” she continued. “But I do think that the women deserve to hear the results of these investigations as does the governor. But again ... no tolerance for sexual harassment. Let the world know that.”
When pressed to say whether she’s urging Cuomo to step down, Pelosi said, “I think we should see the results.”
“Hopefully, this result will be soon,” she said. “And what I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart ― he loves New York ― to see if he can govern effectively. And that could be one of the considerations that he has.”
At least seven women have publicly accused Cuomo of sexual harassment or inappropriate touching, including a former aide who says the governor forcibly kissed her in his office in 2018. Cuomo has denied the harassment allegations and has apologized for making anyone feel “uncomfortable.”
He’s also come under fire for accusations of bullying and reports that his office doctored data about the number of nursing home deaths in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, both of New York’s senators ― Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand ― and many prominent House Democrats from New York, including Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called on Cuomo to step down. But Cuomo has so far refused to do so, claiming he’s a victim of “cancel culture” and suggesting that some of the women are lying.
Pelosi, who swiftly called for the resignation of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 2017 when he faced sexual misconduct allegations, had called the allegations against Cuomo “credible” earlier this month, but had not weighed in on the matter since most of New York’s congressional delegation demanded his departure.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) on Sunday also shied away from urging Cuomo to step down. Hogan was chair of the National Governors Association until last August, with Cuomo serving as his deputy. Cuomo took over as head of the NGA after Hogan’s one-year term ended.
“Well, look, I ― these are obviously serious allegations that do need to be looked into, and it has to be investigated,” Hogan told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I don’t think it’s up to me to be speaking for the people of the state of New York,” he added. “I think, obviously, there are investigations under way. And, hopefully, we’re going to get to the bottom of this, because it’s pretty serious allegations and growing every day.”
The Washington Post reported later Sunday that Larry Schwartz, Cuomo’s COVID-19 vaccine czar and a longtime adviser to the governor, has made calls to multiple county officials to gauge their loyalty to Cuomo.
One Democratic county executive was so disturbed by the call that they reportedly filed a notice of an impending ethics complaint with the public integrity unit of the state attorney general’s office.
Schwartz denied having done anything “wrong” and told the Post that he did not discuss the vaccines during these conversations.
“I have always conducted myself in a manner commensurate to a high ethical standard,” Schwartz said.