Biden says Cuomo should resign hours after harassment report

President Biden on Tuesday called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign after an official report found that he sexually harassed 11 women.

“I think he should resign,” Biden said of his longtime Democratic ally.

Biden spoke hours after Cuomo proclaimed his innocence and issued a counter-report with photos of Biden and other elected officials hugging women.

“Look, I’m not going to flyspeck this. I’m sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t,” Biden said when a reporter asked about Cuomo using his own conduct as a defense.

Biden himself has faced allegations of making women feel uncomfortable with unwanted touching and he has denied a sexual assault allegation from former Senate aide Tara Reade.

Biden did not weigh in on whether the New York state Legislature should impeach Cuomo — or if the governor should face criminal charges. He also confirmed he hadn’t spoken on Tuesday with the three-term Democrat.

President Joe Biden said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign.
President Joe Biden said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

“I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact,” Biden said.

Biden said in March that Cuomo should step down if a probe commissioned by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat, concluded that the governor was guilty.

James on Tuesday released the findings of her office’s investigation, which corroborated allegations of inappropriate remarks and touching by Cuomo.

ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Biden in March, “If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?”

“Yes, I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted too,” Biden responded.

Biden did not offer further comment Tuesday on whether Cuomo should be prosecuted, drawing a rebuke from Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the No. 3 ranking House Republican.

Stefanik said in a statement that “President Biden is reversing course, stopping short of calling for Governor Cuomo to be prosecuted or impeached. President Biden’s response to the AG’s report makes him complicit in the crimes committed by sexual predator Governor Cuomo.”

As of Tuesday evening, Vice President Kamala Harris had not demanded Cuomo’s resignation — making her one of the only high-profile national Democrats not to do so. Her office hasn’t responded to requests for comment from The Post.

A probe from the New York State Attorney General found that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women.
A probe from the New York State Attorney General found that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women.
via REUTERS

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the allegations against Cuomo are “abhorrent.”

Most members of New York’s congressional delegation, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and leftwing leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called for Cuomo to resign in March as allegations mounted against him.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday called for Cuomo to resign. Pelosi previously said he should step down “if these allegations are proven to be true.”

Pelosi said in a new statement, “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth. Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the Governor to resign.”

Cuomo angrily pleaded his innocence on Tuesday afternoon, saying that he didn’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable with awkward personal remarks and that “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

Cuomo also insisted he wasn’t harassing women by touching their face and kissing them. “I do it with everyone — black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street,” Cuomo said.

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