President Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign on Tuesday after the New York attorney general released a blistering report finding Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former members of his staff.
In March, the president said if allegations from several women who accused the New York Democrat of harassment were proven to be true, Mr. Cuomo should resign and prosecution would be likely to follow.
On Tuesday, the president called on Mr. Cuomo to step down, saying he stood by his earlier statement. But he stopped short of saying Mr. Cuomo should be impeached.
“Let’s take one thing at a time here. I think he should resign,” Mr. Biden said at a press conference. “I understand the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact.”
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an investigation has determined that Mr. Cuomo violated federal and state law by sexually harassing women in the workplace, prompting the calls for his resignation.
The Democratic governor, though, remained defiant following the attorney general’s announcement, saying he never touched anyone inappropriately.
“Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching,” Ms. James said during a press conference.
After a roughly five-month investigation, the New York attorney general found that Mr. Cuomo created a hostile work environment for women. Ms. James said independent investigators reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence and conducted 179 interviews.
At least two former aides of Mr. Cuomo said he made inappropriate comments and touched them without consent, prompting Mr. Cuomo to request the attorney general to look into the allegations.The investigation began in March.
On Tuesday, though, Mr. Cuomo pushed back against the findings, saying some of his comments were taken out of context.
He said the process has been painful for him and that he has cooperated with the investigation.
“I do banter with people, I do tell jokes,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I try to put people at ease.”
Mr. Cuomo said he does kiss people on the cheeks and hands and that he has learned from the experience. However, the governor repeatedly denied touching any former or current staff member.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old, I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am and that’s not who I have ever been,” he said.
The governor said his office is making changes with workplace training on sexual harassment.