CAPITAL REGION, NY (WRGB) — Governor Cuomo, for the first time in months, allowed reporters into his news briefing Monday.
The change comes after a reporter publicly challenged Cuomo Friday on his recent practices of stonewalling the media.
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Monday, with reporters back in-person for the first time since December, the governor faced tough questions about accusations of sexual harassment.
Jesse McKinley of the New York Times posed these questions.
McKinley: Can you tell the State of New York, yes or no, did you do the things you were accused of?
Cuomo: No, no.
Reporter: If Tish James’ report comes back to find the contrary will you discipline yourself or consider resigning?
Cuomo: The report can’t find anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong.
Cuomo is facing 10 accusations of sexual misconduct, including from a current member of his staff who says she was groped by Cuomo at the Governor's Mansion during the pandemic. Monday, a reporter also pressed Cuomo on a New York Times report with information alleging the governor used anti-trans and anti-Semitic slurs in his past. Cuomo called the report untrue and called the accusations slanderous rumors.
“People say a lot of things. People say a lot of things in politics. Why do people say things? Who knows. People are denial. People want attention. People are angry. People are jealous. Who knows why people spread rumors," Cuomo said.
Cuomo was also pressed on accusations that he broke a law by using staff to write his COVID-19 leadership book on state time, a book which he reportedly earned $4 million for. Cuomo repeatedly stated those staff members volunteered on the book.
Attorney Debra Katz, who's representing Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett in the sexual harassment scandal, said in a statement today that the governor’s comments from Monday undermined the attorney general's investigation into the sexual harassment claims.
She also said she wants proof the governor took the state's required sexual harassment training, to affirm he understands New York's definition of sexual harassment in the workplace.