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Two more New York senators join the growing number of Democrats demanding the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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After having multiple credible accusations of misconduct, it’s clear that Cuomo has lost the trust of the people of New York. But the Democratic governor maintains that he is innocent and will not leave the office.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday joined the growing chorus of Democratic voices demanding the resignation of state Governor Andrew Cuomo due to charges he faces for alleged sexual misconduct.

“Facing and overcoming the COVID-19 crisis requires strong and confident leadership. We commend the courageous actions of individuals who have brought serious allegations of abuse and misconduct. Due to multiple credible allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the trust of your officials and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign,” the senators said in a joint statement

Schumer and Gillibrand had previously said that it was essential that an independent investigation be conducted into the allegations against Cuomo. Most of the state legislators had already asked for his resignation, and more than half of the Democratic congressmen for New York joined the call this Friday, but Schumer and Gillibrand become the most relevant figures within the party to demand it. The president, Joe Biden, has avoided speaking up until now. 

Facing unprecedented political isolation, Cuomo, 63, defiantly insisted on Friday that he would not resign over allegations of sexual harassment, calling the growing coalition of Democrats calling for his resignation “reckless” and “dangerous”.

The Democratic governor, who is in his third term, has said he will not leave the office and refuses to be a victim of the so-called Cancel culture (or call-out culture).” 

“I am not going to resign,” Cuomo said during an afternoon phone call with reporters, “I did not do what is alleged.”

The governor is also under scrutiny for keeping secret for months how many nursing home residents died of COVID-19 in New York.

Cuomo’s growing list of naysayers now covers virtually every region of the state and the centers of political power in New York City and Washington. Most of the Democrats in the state legislature and 21 of the 27 members of the House of Representatives have called for his resignation.

The escalating political crisis threatens Cuomo’s re-election in 2022 in an overwhelmingly Democratic state and threatens to cast a shadow over Biden’s early days in office.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to say whether the president believes Cuomo should resign. She said that all women who have accused him of sexual misconduct “deserve to have their voice heard, they should be treated with respect and they should be able to tell their story.”

Cuomo insisted Friday that he never touched anyone improperly, saying again that he’s sorry if he ever made anyone uncomfortable. He declined to answer a direct question about whether he has had a consensual relationship with any of the women who accuse him.

“I have not had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate,” he said.

The storm around the governor grew after the Times Union newspaper reported Wednesday that an aide (who preferred anonymity for fear of retaliation) claimed that Cuomo reached under her shirt and stroked her at her official residence late last year.

The woman has not filed a criminal complaint, but an attorney for the governor said Thursday that the state reported the allegation to the Albany Police Department after the woman involved refused to do so.

Cuomo faces multiple allegations of sexually inappropriate comments and behavior towards several women, including some assistants. One of them said the governor asked her if she would ever have sex with an older man. Another claimed the governor kissed her once without her consent and said officials close to Cuomo publicly defamed her after she accused him of sexual harassment.

The governor promised on Friday that he will still be able to govern despite a growing list of New York elected officials who say they have lost faith in his ability to do so.

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