Andrew Cuomo is still attempting to brush off the many sexual harassment allegations against him.
The former New York governor decried “cancel culture” on Friday’s episode of “Real Time With Bill Maher,” two years after he resigned following an independent investigation that cited 11 women’s claims of misconduct.
“This is the cancel culture on steroids at the highest level — with a justice department,” he said. “Eleven cases trigger the cancel culture. Everyone has to be first before they get accused by a women’s group of not moving fast enough.”
He also addressed President Joe Biden’s call for him to step down.
“The president of the United States within hours says: ‘You have to resign, but I didn’t read the report. But doesn’t matter. You have to resign,’” Cuomo said. “And now it’s dominoes among the Democrats.”
At a 2021 press conference about the investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law.” The report concluded that Cuomo kissed, touched and made sexual comments to staffers.
Cuomo said on “Real Time” that five different district attorneys refused to bring a case against him. When host Bill Maher asked why the New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee had cited “overwhelming evidence” of alleged crimes in 2021, he suggested that it merely wanted to affirm James’ report.
“She wanted my job, which was part of the motivation here,” Cuomo replied. “She put out a report, she said 11. That was the brilliant manipulation of this, because you and everyone else said … ’11 cases is so many. I don’t even have to bother reading the report.’”
James noted in her 2021 press conference that investigators reviewed “more than 74,000 pieces of evidence, including documents, emails, texts, audio files and pictures.” James said the evidence painted a “deeply disturbing yet clear picture.”
Andrew Cuomo suggested that "cancel culture" was affecting the U.S. "at the highest level."
Cuomo appeared on the show alongside former chief of staff Melissa DeRosa, who chronicled her tenure in a new book titled “What’s Left Unsaid.” She suggested one outlet in particular unfairly targeted Cuomo.
“I think that The New York Times, which was sort of the driver of this manufactured scandal in my opinion, has been leading the Me Too movement, has been out front on everything and constantly redefining what it is to have an executable offense,” DeRosa said.
She pointed to a front-page article in the Times about one woman’s encounter with Cuomo at a wedding, which DeRosa characterized as a playful request to kiss the woman on the cheek. But the woman told the Times that she had removed Cuomo’s hand from her bare lower back and that she had pulled away after he brought his hands up to her cheeks.
DeRosa suggested that any questions about this at the time were seen as “victim-shaming.”
Cuomo infamously presented a slideshow in 2021 of him kissing people in a defiant speech aiming to soften the allegations. He said kissing was, for him, “meant to convey warmth, nothing more.” He notably refused to take questions at the time.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.