Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has faced mounting allegations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, leading to bipartisan calls for him to step down or face impeachment.
For his part, however, President Joe Biden has had little to say about the matter and is not calling on Cuomo to resign.
“We should see what it brings us”
The president finally spoke up on Sunday, telling reporters: “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain struck a similar tone when he appeared on MSBNC this week, telling host Mehdi Hasan reiterated Biden’s stance that “there’s a process” ongoing to address the situation.
“These charges are very serious,” he said of the claims against Cuomo. “They ought to be investigated, and that process ought to run its course, and, you know, I think it’s up to the people of New York about Gov. Cuomo’s continuing ability to govern there.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was similarly unwilling to state that the governor should leave his position.
“We, of course, have watched the news of a number of lawmakers call for [Cuomo’s resignation], but I don’t have any additional announcements from here on this,” she said on Friday.
“It was the strangest thing”
Biden’s reticence to call for Cuomo’s resignation stands in apparent contrast to remarks he made about three years ago during a PBS News Hour interview. At the time, he asserted that women who make claims of abuse should be presumptively believed.
In the interim, Biden has faced his own allegations by a former Senate staffer who claimed he sexually assaulted her in 1993.
Tara Reade came forward about a year ago to assert that the then-senator from Delaware cornered her in a Senate hallway before inappropriately touching her.
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone,” she said. “It was the strangest thing. There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
New York’s two Democratic U.S. senators — Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — issued a joint statement calling on the governor to step down, declaring: “Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct.”