CAPITAL REGION, NY (WRGB) — Governor Cuomo has been keeping the press out of his press events amid various scandals rocking his administration and today he got caught muting a reporter's microphone who asked about one of those scandals.
The governor appeared today at a vaccination site in Yonkers. He was surrounded by about 20 members of the National Guard and fellow democrats on stage, but the media were not allowed in due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Cuomo is only allowing reporters to ask questions on Zoom, and those calls have gotten less and less transparent, because the governor's staff is able to mute the reporter’s microphone when they try to ask a follow-up question. This is a transcript of what happened Wednesday when a reporter asked about the governor's sexual harassment scandal.
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Reporter: If the attorney general's report concludes under state law you did assault employees will you resign from office, yes or no?...
Gov. Cuomo: Let’s see what the report says and then we will take it from there.
Ryan: Well, can you please clarify what that means, will you resign from office if she finds you did violate the sexual harassment laws in this state?
Cuomo: Let’s see what the report says and then we will take it from there.
Ryan: It just.. (mic cuts off)
The reporter suddenly gets cut off while trying to get a response from the governor. The governor went on to say he will comment when the time is appropriate. A short time later, the reporter Ryan Tarinelli from the New York Law Journal tweeted "Yes I got cut off while trying to follow up..," confirming his microphone was indeed muted.
Reporters have not been allowed in-person to Governor Cuomo's briefings since early December. December 3rd was the last time our Reporter Anne McCloy was able to ask a question of the governor, that was the last day the governor took questions in-person.
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Anne emailed a Cuomo senior aide to find out when reporters will be allowed back to Cuomo events in-person and why Tarinelli's microphone was muted. At this point, we have not heard back. But we will keep you posted, and we will keep pushing for transparency.