In a live news conference shown on PBS News Hour, Cuomo has avoided impeachment by voluntarily stepping down.
The governor opened the news conference by saying that he always provides facts before his opinion. “Let’s start New York tough with the truth. The attorney general did a report on complaints made against me by certain women for my conduct. The report said I sexually harassed 11 women. That was the headline people heard and saw and reacted to. The reaction was outrage; it should’ve been. However, it was also false.”
He states that his attorneys have reviewed the report over the past several days but have already found serious issues and flaws.
He attempts to sway New Yorkers to side with him, telling them that this should “concern all New Yorkers, “ as a bias or a lack of fairness in the justice system should concern everyone.
“The most serious allegations made against me had no credible, facial basis in the report.”
He goes on to say, “Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that there are not 11 women who I truly offended. There are. And for that, I deeply, deeply apologize. I thought a hug, and putting my arm around a staff person while taking a picture was friendly. But she found it to be too forward. I kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding, and I thought I was being nice. But she felt that it was too aggressive. I have slipped and called people honey, sweetheart and darling. I meant it to be endearing. But women found it dated and offensive.
“I said on national tv to a doctor wearing PPE and giving me a COVID nasal swab, ‘You make that gown look good.’ I was joking, obviously. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have said it on national TV. She found it disrespectful. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been too familiar with people. My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually. Women and men. I have done it all my life. It’s who I’ve been since I can remember. 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 then addresses the female trooper who claimed he touched her stomach and issued her a formal apology. He says that it’s his way of saying, “I see you. I appreciate you. And I thank you,” but that it was a mistake because she was offended by it.
He thanked the women who came forward with sincere complaints, for teaching him that personal boundaries must be expanded and protected. Regardless, Cuomo believes that the controversy is politically motivated, untrue, and unfair.
The former governor said that the controversy would interfere and negatively impact citizens of New York, along with the money, time, and effort that would be wasted on this “distraction” as there are life and death matters that need the government’s attention.
“I cannot be the cause of that. New York tough means New York loving. And I love New York. And I love you. And everything I have ever done, has been motivated by that love. I would never want to be unhelpful in any way. And I think that, given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let [the] government get back to governing. And therefore that’s what I’ll do. Because I work for you. And doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you.
“Because as we say, ‘It’s not about me, it’s about we.’ ”
Within 14 days, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be taking over as Governor in what he says needs to be a seamless transition. She will be making history as the first female governor of New York.
Cuomo wrapped up the broadcast by tooting his own horn about the “accomplishments” he made while in office and praising his state for going from the highest infection rate in the nation to one of the lowest.
“Thank you for the honor of serving you. It has been the honour of my lifetime. God bless you.”