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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday after 11 women accused him of sexual harassment, but he continued to deny the accusations during his resignation speech.
Cuomo spoke on camera after a 50-minute presentation from his lawyer defending him from the allegations detailed in a report from the state attorney general, that set off a political firestorm that ended his political career.
“Let’s start New York tough. With the Truth,” Cuomo said, defying the report as “false” and politically motivated.
“The most serious allegations made against me had no credible factual basis in the report,” he said, referring to a woman’s accusation that he groped her in his office.
Cuomo dismissed the details of the rest of the complaints as “alleged” excusing his behavior as what he believed was either part of a joke, a result of a “sense of humor,” or kissing people “casually.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced he will resign from his office in 14 days after an investigation found he sexually harassed multiple women. https://t.co/QCc77kStUl
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 10, 2021
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” he said.
Cuomo tried to excuse his behavior as innocent habitual rhetoric.
“I have slipped and called people honey, sweetheart, and darling. I meant it to be endearing, but women found it dated and offensive,” he said.
Cuomo addressed the allegations from a female trooper on his security detail, noting he worked to get more women on his team to promote “diversity.”
“The lack of diversity on the state police detail was an ongoing disappointment for me,” he said.
Cuomo first met the woman in 2017 and subsequently demanded she be included on his security detail.
The state trooper, identified as “Trooper #1” in the attorney general report, accused Cuomo of running his hand over her stomach when walking past her when she held doors open for him, running his hand down her spine in an elevator, and even kissing her on the cheek.
Cuomo said he did not recall touching her inappropriately, but admitted he frequently touched members of his security detail.
“At public events, troopers will often hold doors open or guard the doorways,” he said, noting that he often gave them a “grip of the arm, a pat on the face, a touch on the stomach, a slap on the back.”
“It’s my way of saying, I see you,” he added.
The trooper also said Cuomo joked that marriage was bad for her sex drive when he learned she was getting married.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday denied allegations of sexual misconduct laid out in a report by state Attorney General Letitia James. https://t.co/tTJYExzm9I
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 3, 2021
Cuomo said he liked to “banter” with the female trooper and joked about the “negative consequences” of marriage.
“I meant it to be humorous. She was offended. And she was right,” he said.
Cuomo apologized to the woman on his security detail acknowledging his actions were a “mistake.”