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Cuomo says there is “no way to resign” amid allegations of sexual harassment

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defiantly rejected calls for his resignation, as did more women Come forward with charges of sexual harassment against him, saying on Sunday “there is no way” he will retire. But shortly after his news conference, New York State Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, said he “should resign.”

“Every day there is a different account that is moving away from state business,” Stuart-Cousins ​​said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “We have allegations of sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, a loss of confidence about COVID-1

9 nursing home data and questions about building a major infrastructure project. New York is still in the middle of this pandemic and still facing social , the health and economic consequences of it. We must govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign. ”

Assembly Speaker Carl Hesti, also a Democrat, stopped without saying outright that Cuomo should resign, but said in a statement that Cuomo should “seriously consider” whether he could run the country. “I also share the sentiments of Senate Majority Leader Stuart-Cousins ​​about the governor’s ability to continue to lead this country,” Hesti said.

Cuomo insisted earlier Sunday that he continued to focus on the state’s COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts, and said he would not be “distracted” by the allegations.

“I was elected by the people in the state, not by politicians,” Cuomo told reporters on Sunday. “I will not resign because of accusations. The premise of resigning because of accusations is actually anti-democratic.”

Cuomo spent the weekend addressing state leaders and lawmakers, telling them he would not resign, two acquaintances told CBS News. During telephone conversations, the governor publicly repeated what he said: Be patient and allow the investigation led by New York Attorney Leticia James to continue.

In those talks, Cuomo demanded a proper trial, saying others who had encountered similar allegations had been given the opportunity to investigate before potential accountability, according to one acquaintance.

Another told CBS News that Cuomo had support across the country, “But you never know how deep or wide.”

It is unclear who exactly the governor spoke to and how many calls he made, but the list includes Stuart-Cousins ​​and other lawmakers, the two said.

Two other women came out on Saturday, alleging that Cuomo had acted inappropriately, making five women who accused him. While Cuomo said last week he was “embarrassed” and apologized for “any pain I caused,” he issued a more defiant tone on Sunday. He said an alleged incident with a woman, Lindsay Boylan, “did not happen” and said Sunday’s allegations by former aide Karen Hinton “were not true”.

One of Cuomo’s prosecutors, Charlotte Bennett, described him as a “textbook abuser” in an exclusive interview with CBS Evening News presenter Nora O’Donnell. Bennett claims that on June 5, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in hard-hit New York, Cuomo asked her if she had ever been intimate with an older man and said he was comfortable dating women for decades. younger than him.

Text messages sent by Bennett of a friend and reviewed by CBS News remembers her meeting with Cuomo immediately after the alleged conversation. In reports, Bennett told a friend that Cuomo was “talking about age differences in the relationship.”

Her friend, who checked the messages, asked, “Wait what” and “Did you do something?”

“No,” Bennett replied. “But it was like the clearest it could be.”

Asked by CBS News on Sunday if he had been notified Bennett’s complaint at the timeCuomo said no. He reiterated that he would await the results of the investigation by Attorney General Leticia James.

“It’s not about me or accusations about me – the Attorney General can handle that. It’s about doing business with people,” Cuomo said. “These next six months will determine the future trajectory of New York State.”

On Sunday, the editorial board of the Albany Times Union, a newspaper that approved Cuomo’s three campaigns for governor, said Sunday that it should step down.

But the newspaper focuses on the other scandal involving the governor: The deaths of thousands of state residents in nursing homes during the pandemic and his administration’s alleged attempts to cover the full scope of the problem.

“New York cannot go through this public health crisis if New Yorkers do not know whether the governor and health officials are honest with them from one day to the next,” the editorial said.

“It was a severe blow today,” said an anonymous civil servant, speaking openly about the governor’s political stance amid concerns about potential retaliation. “It’s not over until it’s over, but those were bad 24 hours for him.”

Cuomo said he was focused on approving the state budget. The New York State Constitution stipulates that the budget be approved by April 1, and Cuomo presented his budget in mid-January. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says New York will receive $ 12.5 billion in stimulus money in recently adopted a federal relief package, although Cuomo was looking for $ 15 billion.

“That doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy budget, but now it’s going to be a possible budget,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also announced on Sunday that, with the exception of New York, restaurants in New York State will now be able to open at 75% capacity.

Nora O’Donnell, Michael Kaplan, Julie Morse, Adam Verdugo and Caitlin Yilek contributed to this report.

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