Saturday
June 12 2021
6:49 AM
banner-icon1 banner-icon2 banner-icon3

POLITICAL NEWS


Previous story Allegations against Cuomo need to be carefully investigated, W.H. press secretary says Next story

STORY BY QUINT FORGEY

Story   Source

Published on March 1, 2021 9:03 PM

Political Stories Search Political Political Index
 
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday said President Joe Biden supports an "independent review" of the sexual harassment accusations leveled against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week by a pair of former aides — adding that it was personally difficult for her to read the latest account of alleged misconduct by the governor.

The remarks from the president's top spokesperson came after Lindsey Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president who formerly worked for Cuomo and the state's economic development agency, revealed in a blog post on Wednesday that the governor had kissed her without her consent and asked her to play strip poker.

Then, on Saturday, The New York Times reported that Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser to Cuomo, was also sexually harassed by the governor, including inappropriate questions about her sex life.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Psaki did not answer directly on Sunday when asked whether Biden believes either Bennett's or Cuomo's account, but said the president "has been consistent that he believes that every woman should be heard."

"Charlotte should be treated with respect and dignity. So should Lindsey," Psaki said. "And there should be an independent review looking into these allegations. And that's certainly something [Biden] supports and we believe should move forward as quickly as possible."

Pressed further by host Dana Bash on whether Biden believes the "essence" of the allegations against Cuomo are real, Psaki replied: "Of course, Dana. He believes — that's why I said — he believes that every woman who comes forward should be treated with dignity and respect."

Psaki described the accusations by Boylan and Bennett as "serious," and said specifically of Bennett's account to the Times: "It was hard to read that story, as a woman."

Cuomo has denied Boylan's claims, and he told the Times in a statement that he "never made advances" toward Bennett or intended "to act in any way that was inappropriate." He also said he had requested an independent review of the allegations.

The sexual harassment accusations come as Cuomo remains embroiled in a scandal related to his administration's undercounting of nursing home deaths in New York due to the coronavirus.