Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday tried to rebut a damning official report that discovered he sexually harassed a number of girls in violation of state and federal regulation — with reels of photographs of him kissing, hugging and touching folks via the years, together with Bill Clinton and Robert De Niro.
The obvious makes an attempt to reduce the conduct got here as Cuomo pushed back on the report compiled by impartial investigators retained by state Attorney General Letitia James.
“I’ve been making the same gesture in public all my life,” stated Cuomo in a video response, particularly addressing his grabbing Anna Ruch by the face and kissing her cheek with out her consent at a marriage in 2019.
“I actually learned it from my mother and from my father,” he continued, referring to the late, three-term Gov. Mario Cuomo. “Indeed there are hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me using the exact same gesture.”
As Cuomo described getting sensitive with “black and white, young and old, straight to LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers [and] people who I meet on the street,” the video reduce to a montage of nonetheless photographs of him kissing, embracing or touching folks from all walks of life.
They included De Niro, former vp and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and former President Bill Clinton — who noticed his personal political profession hit the skids amid a intercourse scandal.
During the video, Cuomo additionally introduced the net launch of a rebuttal report authored by lawyer Rita Glavin.
But of that report’s 85 pages, eight have been devoted to extra photographs of Cuomo kissing or embracing distinguished figures, together with former President Barack Obama, former first woman, New York senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — who stated Tuesday it was time for Cuomo to face impeachment proceedings.
And one other 15 pages featured photographs of different distinguished politicians — together with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer — in related positions, in an obvious bid to point out that the habits was not restricted to him.
When married mom-of-three Sherry Vill accused Cuomo earlier this yr of forcibly kissing her throughout a tour of her storm-damaged Greece, NY, residence, Glavin issued the same assertion, saying partially, “During times of crisis, the Governor has frequently sought to comfort New Yorkers with hugs and kisses.”
To assist the declare, Glavin included a hyperlink to the governor’s Flickr account, which included 38 photos of Cuomo’s journey to Greece — only one of which confirmed Cuomo kissing somebody.