ANDREW Cuomo choked up as he apologized, but the "embarrassed" Governor said he won't resign as he "never touched anyone inappropriately."
The New York Gov made his first on-camera appearance following the claims on Wednesday.
Cuomo started by providing a Covid update, before finally addressing the allegations, claiming "I never touched anyone inappropriately."
"I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable," he said.
"It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it," Cuomo said.
The governor appeared to get choked up while he was discussing the allegations.
"I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the Attorney General's report before forming an opinion," Cuomo asked, while telling viewers that he will "fully cooperate" with the review.
"I have learned an important lesson. I'm sorry, I'm sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it and I will be the better for this experience."
Cuomo then went on to confirm that he will not resign from his position.
"I'm not going to resign. I was elected by the people of New York," he confirmed. "I am going to serve the people of New York."
Despite his apology, Cuomo said: "I do not believe I have ever done anything in my public career that I am ashamed of."
The governor insisted that he did not realize that his actions were inappropriate, saying: "You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people, men, women. It is my usual and customary way of greeting."
He went on to say: "I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable."
Cuomo was last before video cameras on Thursday, when he introduced President Joe Biden at a virtual meeting of the National Governor’s Association, which he chairs.
Cuomo also participated on Tuesday in the group’s conference call, which was off-limits to reporters.
Neither Cuomo nor his spokespeople have commented on the latest allegation made against him on Monday night.
Anna Ruch told The New York Times that Cuomo touched her lower back, then grabbed her cheeks and asked to kiss her at a September 2019 wedding.
Ruch told the newspaper that when she removed Cuomo’s hand from her back, he called her "aggressive," placed his hands on her cheeks and asked if he could kiss her.
Cuomo then allegedly planted a kiss on her cheek as she turned away.
A photograph taken by a friend captured a look of discomfort on Ruch’s face as the governor held her face.
"I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed when really he is the one who should have been embarrassed," Ruch told newspaper.
One of Cuomo's aides, and the person whose wedding reception is in the center of the allegations, Gareth Rhodes resigned on Wednesday, just days after the news.
Rhodes wrote in a prepared statement: "Last week as I approached one year since moving to Albany to join the NYS Covid task force, I decided it was time, given the progress of the vaccination program and continued decline of Covid numbers, to return to my previous role at the Department of Financial Services and I informed the Governor’s senior staff at the time."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has had a contentious relationship with Cuomo for years, said Tuesday that if all the allegations against Cuomo are true, "he cannot govern."
"He would not be able to govern, it’s as simple as that," the Democrat said.
Asked by a reporter whether Cuomo should resume holding in-person events, de Blasio said, "I think all leaders have to answer tough questions from the media, regardless of whether it’s convenient."
One former aide, Charlotte Bennett, 25, said Cuomo quizzed her about her sex life and asked whether she would be open to a relationship with an older man.
Bennett rejected Cuomo’s attempted apology, in which he said he’d been trying to be "playful" and that his jokes had been misinterpreted as flirting.
Another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo commented on her appearance inappropriately, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting, and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet. Cuomo has denied Boylan’s allegations.
More to follow…
For the latest news on this story keep checking back at Sun Online.
The Sun is your go to destination for the best celebrity news, football news, real-life stories, jaw-dropping pictures and must-see video.
Download our fantastic, new and improved free App for the best ever Sun Online experience. For iPhone click here, for Android click here.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSunUS and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSunUS.
Source: Read Full Article