President Biden had a testy exchange with a press corps on Tuesday afternoon, as the Cuomo scandal was reaching the next level.
“Thank you all, thank you, press, for being here,” Biden said as he tried to close the press conference.
A reporter shouted a question about Governor Cuomo, seeking comment on the breaking scandal that eleven women had credibly accused the governor of sexual misconduct.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa… be quiet,” Biden said as the feed went dark. “Please.”
“I am going to be speaking on COVID at 4 o’clock this afternoon. And I will take questions on COVID and other issues after that.”
Obviously, Biden needed to be coached on how to address the developments on the Cuomo scandal.
Earlier on Tuesday, the New York state Attorney General came forward with yet another announcement that Andrew Cuomo stands accused of sexually harasssing 11 different women, including several that worked in the governor’s office.
The state Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday said her investigation has found that Cuomo engaged in “unwelcome and nonconsensual touching.” He made comments of a sexually “suggestive” nature. His conduct also allegedly created a “hostile work environment for women.”
Joe Biden would eventually underscore his previous stance condemning the governor on Tuesday.
“Back in March you said that if the investigation confirmed allegations against Cuomo, then he should resign. Will you now call on him to resign?” a reporter asked.
“I stand by that statement,” Biden responded.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined the growing chorus of denunciation for Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday, along with calls for him to resign. Pelosi said he should step down out of “respect for the office he holds.” She added: “As always, I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also said that Governor Cuomo should resign. One of the strongest statements came from long-time adversary New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It is beyond clear that Andrew Cuomo is not fit to hold office and can no longer serve as Governor. He must resign, and if he continues to resist and attack the investigators who did their jobs, he should be impeached immediately,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“The Attorney General’s detailed and thorough report substantiates many disturbing instances of severe misconduct. Andrew Cuomo committed sexual assault and sexual harassment, and intimidated a whistleblower. It is disqualifying,” de Blasio added.