- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called for an “independent review” into allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
- Two former staffers of the New York governor have accused him of sexual harassment.
- “President Biden has been consistent that he believes that every woman should be heard, should be treated with respect, and with dignity,” she said.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that President Joe Biden supported an “independent review” of the allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after two women accused the governor of sexual harassment.
In an interview published Saturday with The New York Times, former aide Charlotte Bennett said Cuomo made unwanted sexual advances toward her and asked her inappropriate questions on multiple occasions in spring 2020.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the New York Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
Bennett’s allegations Saturday followed allegations leveled days earlier in a blog post by Lindsey Boylan, another former Cuomo staffer, who alleged that Cuomo made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including inappropriate touching, for several years before he kissed her without her consent in 2018, leading her to resign from her role.
“President Biden has been consistent that he believes that every woman should be heard, should be treated with respect, and with dignity. Charlotte should be treated with respect and dignity, so should Lindsey,” Psaki said, referring to the two former aides that have accused Cuomo of fostering a culture of sexual harassment.
“There should be an independent review looking into these allegations, and that’s certainly something he supports and we believe should move forward as quickly as possible,” Psaki said during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Cuomo, a Democrat, has denied Boylan’s accusations, and on Saturday called for a “full and thorough outside review” following Bennett’s accusations, though he’s been criticized for appointing a former federal judge with ties to a longtime ally to lead it, The New York Times reported.
Other members of the Democratic Party have called for an investigation, or in some cases, for Cuomo’s immediate resignation. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Antonio Delgado, and Kathleen Rice are among the New York lawmakers calling for an independent probe.
“Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett’s detailed accounts of sexual harassment by Gov. Cuomo are extremely serious and painful to read,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “There must be an independent investigation – not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General.”
“The recent allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Cuomo are deeply troubling and deserve a thorough investigation,” Nadler said. “It must be transparent, impartial, and above all else, independent.”