Just over six months since Andrew Cuomo resigned from office amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment, the former New York Governor made his first public appearance at a church in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Politico reports Cuomo spoke for about 20 minutes and provided the same defense of his behavior that he’s held over the past several months — he blamed “cancel culture,” the media and “political sharks” driving him out of office.
Cuomo assured the audience of what appeared to be several dozens of congregants that he’s been leaning on scripture in a difficult time because “God isn’t finished with me yet,” Politico reports.
“The press roasted me, my colleagues were ridiculed, my brother was fired,” Cuomo said. “It was ugly. It was probably the toughest time of my life.”
Despite reiterating a familiar message that he didn’t know he was making any of his former female aides “feel uncomfortable” in instances they viewed as sexual harassment, he apologized for being unaware that his behavior was wrong.
“I haven’t spoken about it in public yet because I wanted to talk about it here with you because God’s guidance is helping me through,” he said.
Cuomo held the same position he has long held, even after four women who accused him of sexual misconduct were formally asked to testify under oath last year — 10 women made public accusations of his inappropriate comments and unwanted advances at that point.
“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable,” he said during an appearance in the Bronx last year. “That is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That is you feeling uncomfortable.”
Cuomo’s resignation came in August 2021 after a state attorney general’s report found he sexually harassed several former aides and other women, Politico reports. None of the cases — which fell into the scope of local district attorneys in Albany, Long Island, and elsewhere — have resulted in legal charges or proceedings.
“Contrary to what my political opponents would have you believe, nothing I did violated the law or the regulation,” he said. “But the political sharks in Albany smelled blood.”
The last unresolved case Cuomo faced was in Oswego County in which the district attorney’s office said it would not pursue charges because there was “not a sufficient legal basis,” ending the last local investigation into the allegations against him.
Politico reports the former New York Governor incorrectly said that because the handful of criminal investigations were dismissed by district attorneys there was little truth to the state Attorney General’s conclusion that he harassed multiple women — touching some without their consent and leaving many fearful of retaliation — and violated state anti-harassment policy he signed into law in 2019.
Politico reports that Cuomo criticized reports from the state Assembly and attorney general as abuse of power and “prosecutorial misconduct.”
He blamed “cancel culture” for his resignation, which Politico reports he voluntarily announced, and urged Democrats to beware.
“If you want to cancel something, cancel federal gridlock, cancel the incompetence, cancel the infighting, cancel crime, cancel homelessness, cancel education inequality, cancel poverty, cancel racism,” Cuomo said. “Be outraged but be outraged at what really matters and what really matters to you.”
While his next steps weren’t a topic of discussion, Cuomo took time to describe himself as a fighter from outside the bureaucratic status quo with few public friends, Politico reports.
“I have many options in life and I’m open to all of them,” Cuomo said.
The former governor said he is not yet at peace, but with the state of the world and Democratic Party today “I don’t think you should be at peace either, the outlet reports.
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