Andrew Cuomo shares clip of kissing strangers to prove he 'didn't touch anyone inappropriately'
New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed how an investigation into Gov Andrew Cuomo found he sexually harassed several current and former employees, as well as previously unknown members of the public. In response to the findings, Cuomo posted a bizarre video montage of himself touching multiple people and defended himself saying he "never touched anyone inappropriately."
The 63-year-old Democratic governor has refused to resign from office despite calls from leadership within his own party, including President Joe Biden, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio.
While the NY AG's report did not recommend whether Cuomo's conduct warranted a criminal prosecution, the governor said he welcomes the opportunity to face the allegations against him in court. He responded to the probe in a social media live stream, maintaining that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances."
Governor Cuomo Responds to Independent Reviewer Report: https://t.co/sgPuPEDXRU— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 3, 2021
In the montage he shared, the New York Democrat is seen kissing and touching the faces of multiple people over the years. It specifically responded to an allegation from Anna Ruch, who alleged that she grabbed Cuomo's wrist off her exposed back at a wedding in 2019. “Wow, you’re aggressive," he purportedly said, before grabbing her face and saying, “Can I kiss you?” A photo of the pair from the event was shared by the New York Times.
Cuomo alleged that his everyday interactions with colleagues were being "weaponized" to score political points and for personal gain. “That is not front-page news. I’ve been making the same gesture in public all my life. I actually learned it from my mother and from my father,” he said. “It is meant to convey warmth, nothing more.”
The governor also directly addressed one of his accusers, sexual assault survivor Charlotte Bennette. Cuomo said his comments were intended to help her process her previous trauma and he did it because he was previously unable to help a family member who was also a survivor of sexual assault and battery. “I was trying to make sure she was working her way through it the best she could,” he claimed.
Social media users lashed out at Cuomo's defense and called for him to resign immediately. "Cuomo’s montage of kissing and hugging people is NOT the flex he thinks it is. It just shows a clear lack of boundaries and that he’s always been invading people’s personal spaces. Time for impeachment!" one Twitter user wrote.
"There should be a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment & must send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated -Uncle Andy 2013," another mocked. "He just said making women feel uncomfortable is how his parents taught him to show his warmth. HIS SPEECH WRITERS WILL BE FIRED IN 6 SECONDS," a comment read.
"The first change should be you resigning and I say that as a non-republican," a user added.
"Time to resign. 179 people - are not making everything up. A pervasive pattern of behavior. Not assault in the sense of a Cosby or a Weinstein but unacceptable in a government workplace esp the Governors office," another asserted.
Cuomo’s montage of kissing and hugging people is NOT the flex he thinks it is. It just shows a clear lack of boundaries and that he’s always been invading people’s personal spaces. Time for impeachment!— Nick for Astoria 🌹🏳️🌈 (@NickforAstoria) August 3, 2021
There should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment & must send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated -Uncle Andy 2013— the_emurr (@TheEmurr) August 3, 2021
He just said making women feel uncomfortable is how his parents taught him to show his warmth.— Rocco (@RoccoReefer) August 3, 2021
HIS SPEECH WRITERS WILL BE FIRED IN 6 SECONDS
the first change should be you resigning and i say that as a non-republican.— i now have new formidable powers 182 (@jenniedelicious) August 3, 2021
Time to resign. 179 people - are not making everything up. A pervasive pattern of behavior. Not assault in the sense of a Cosby or a Weinstein but unacceptable in a government workplace esp the Governors office— LA (@trying2help) August 3, 2021