Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, refused to criticize New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday over renewed allegations that he sexually harassed a female aide.
When confronted by reporters at the Capitol, Mr. Schumer at first said he had no comment on Mr. Cuomo‘s scandal.
Later, his office issued this statement: “Sen. Schumer has said many times that sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated, and that any credible allegation should be thoroughly investigated.”
The statement didn’t say whether Mr. Schumer thinks the allegations of former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan are credible. She claims that Mr. Cuomo kissed her on the lips without her consent, and he suggested that they play strip poker on a flight.
Mr. Cuomo has denied the allegations through a spokeswoman.
Ms. Gillibrand said of the former Cuomo aide: “I have not read her allegations … But as I said, everyone has a right to be able to come forward, speak their truth and be heard. And that’s true for her and it’s also true for Governor Cuomo.”
At the National Governors Association’s winter meeting on Thursday, Mr. Cuomo, who is vice-chair of the group, introduced President Biden at the virtual event. He referred to Mr. Biden as a “dear friend,” and praised him for implementing a “functional partnership” with governors on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand the difficult situation you inherited,” Mr. Cuomo said. “When you went to the cupboard, it was all but bare.”
The president thanked Mr. Cuomo, and said he appreciates their “friendship.”