Cuomo: ‘I’m not going to resign because of allegations’

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Cuomo has again stated he has no intention of resigning over the allegations that are being made against him. During his Sunday press briefing, the Governor echoed earlier statements he has made on the issue, dismissing the calls as “politics in politics” and saying “I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians.”

Cuomo has been under pressure following scrutiny of the way his administration handled the reporting of nursing home deaths and a spate of sexual harassment allegations.

Speaking towards the end of his briefing, Cuomo described the idea of resigning due to accusations as “anti-democratic” before pointing to due process and the New York Attorney General’s ongoing investigation.

One last piece, there are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of accusations that are made against me. I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations.

The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic and we’ve always done the exact opposite. You know the system is based on due process and the credibility of the allegation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Following the briefing, New York Democratic leaders: Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, joined the ongoing bipartisan calls for the governor’s resignation.

While responding to questions, Cuomo singled out Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who was one of the first Democrats to call for him to step down and has repeated those calls throughout the controversy.

“I have political differences with Senator Biaggi and Democrats.” Cuomo said before adding: “But they don’t override the people’s will, they don’t override elections, they don’t get to hear an allegation and make a determination on the allegation, that’s what Senator Biaggi wants to do.”

I have a newsflash for you, there is politics in politics. Look I have political differences with people. I have political differences with Republicans, I have political differences with Senator Biaggi and Democrats.

But they don’t override the people’s will, they don’t override elections, they don’t get to hear an allegation and make a determination on the allegation, that’s what Senator Biaggi wants to do.

Beyond politicians, support for the Governor seems to have decreased amongst the electorate.

A recent Emerson College/NEWS10/NewsNation poll revealed 43% of New Yorkers surveyed think he should resign over sexual harassment claims compared to 37% earlier that week.

Only 33% of those polled said they would re-elect Cuomo, with 67% saying it was time for someone new.

While speaking about the allegations, The governor also referenced the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). Cuomo seemed to suggest call the credibility of the allegations into question saying:

“We set up this whole elaborate process that the accusation was private. The person who was accused got a private letter, but the accusation was private. Why? Because it’s damaging to publicize allegations before you know that they are credible.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo repeated his request that people “wait for the facts” before passing judgment, citing Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand‘s statements on the matter and the ongoing Attorney General’s investigation.

That’s why Senator Schumer said let the Attorney General do her investigation, Senator Gillibrand said let the Attorney General do her investigation, Congressman Jeffries said let the Attorney General do her investigation, the White House Spokesperson said let the Attorney General do the investigation because that’s democracy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

A transcript of the Governor’s comments can be viewed below:

One last piece, there are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of accusations that are made against me. I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic and we’ve always done the exact opposite. You know the system is based on due process, and the credibility of the allegation.

Anybody has the ability to make an allegation in democracy and that’s great, but it’s then the credibility of the allegation, and we’ve gone through this with the legislature. I remember when we set up JCOPE. We set up this whole elaborate process that the accusation was private. The person who was accused got a private letter, but the accusation was private. Why? Because it’s damaging to publicize allegations before you know that they are credible. JCOPE has hundreds of allegations, but until they are reviewed, they’re private.

The Inspector General’s office is private, hundreds of accusations, but until you go through the due process. So, we have the Attorney General who’s doing an independent review. She has all the allegations, anybody can make an allegation to her, and let the Attorney General do her job. She’s very good, she’s very competent, and that will be due process and then we’ll have the facts.

That’s why Senator Schumer said let the Attorney General do her investigation, Senator Gillibrand said let the Attorney General do her investigation, Congressman Jeffries said let the Attorney General do her investigation, the White House Spokesperson said let the Attorney General do the investigation, because that’s democracy.

So no, there is no way I resign. Let’s do the Attorney General investigation, let’s get the findings, and then we’ll go from there. But I’m not going to be distracted by this either. We have to get a budget done in three weeks; we have a lot of work to, a lot of work to do for this state.

This is not about me and accusations about me, the Attorney General can handle that.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

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