President Joe Biden made his first comments Sunday about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been called to resign over allegations of sexual harassment.
In response to a reporter’s question about whether the governor should step down, Biden said: “I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us.”
His comment came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to call on Cuomo’s resignation even as dozens of top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have called for his ouster.
Speaking with ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi called the charges “credible and serious,” adding she has confidence in the investigation led by New York Attorney General Letitia James into the allegations.
She added that “people have to look inside themselves and say — and Gov. Cuomo also, are they — how effective is their leadership in leading the state under the circumstances that are there?”
Pelosi said there is “no tolerance” for sexual harassment, though the public should wait to see the results of James’ probe.
“Hopefully, this result will be soon, and what I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart — he loves New York — to see if he can govern effectively,” she said.
Asked by NBC News following the interview why she was not calling for Cuomo to step down while Schumer has, Pelosi said: “He’s a New Yorker and I’m not.”
The remarks come after Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., joined calls for Cuomo’s resignation from dozens of other New York state and federal lawmakers.
Cuomo, who faces at least seven allegations of inappropriate behavior, has said he will not step down.
The governor has denied touching anyone inappropriately though he has apologized for any past behavior that may have made people uncomfortable.
Speaking to reporters on a phone briefing prior to Schumer and Gillibrand’s statements, Cuomo said he won’t bow “to cancel culture.”
“I am not going to resign,” he said, adding that lawmakers won’t know the facts until James’ investigation is concluded.
James has appointed two lawyers, one of them a former acting U.S. attorney, to lead that investigation.
Speaking with MSNBC on Sunday, Schumer said New York needs “sure and steady leadership” to keep up the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Now, I salute the brave women who came forward with serious allegations of misconduct, of abuse,” he said. “And there are multiple serious, credible allegations of abuse. So that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and of so many New Yorkers. So, for the good of the state, he should resign.”
Like Pelosi, the White House also stopped short of calling foro Cuomo’s resignation. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that President Joe Biden “believes every woman who comes forward…deserves to have her voice heard,” and supports the investigation into Cuomo’s conduct.