Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) doubled down on her call for embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down “immediately” after another of his former staffers, the second one since December, accused him of sexual harassment.
“Governor Cuomo is a criminal sexual predator and he must immediately resign,” Stefanik said in a statement issued shortly after the New York Times published a detailed account of allegations by former aide Charlotte Bennett on Saturday, accusing the governor of unwanted sexual advances.
Stefanik noted that she “was one of the first and one of the only elected officials to call on the governor to resign on Dec 14” when his former staffer Lindsey Boylan first accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her “for years.” She urged “other New York State leaders to grow a spine.”
“The New York Times article recounting Governor Cuomo’s sickening workplace sexual harassment and grooming of Ms. Bennett is so horrific it makes your skin crawl,” Stefanik wrote.
Democratic New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi echoed the call, labeling Cuomo “a monster.”
“[Governor Cuomo], you are a monster, and it is time for you to go. Now,” she tweeted.
So far, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cuomo’s old rival, has been the most prominent Democrat to call for “a full and independent investigation” into the allegations.
Speaking to the Times, Bennett, 25, claimed that she “felt horribly uncomfortable and scared” when Cuomo repeatedly asked her about her sex life, asking whether she dated older men.
Boylan went public with her allegations as far back as December, but they did not become the talk of the town on Twitter or in the mainstream media as occurred with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accusers back in 2018.
Calls for an investigation grew louder after Boylan came forward with details of Cuomo’s alleged misconduct several days ago, claiming that the governor invited her to play strip poker and kissed her without permission. But the bombshell did not cause a swell in support from high-profile celebrities, apart from a lone call by actress-turned-activist Rose McGowan to investigate the “monstrous” claims.
CNN, which employs Cuomo’s brother, Chris Cuomo, has been accused of shielding the governor. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, CNN’s Jim Acosta was grilled by a Federalist reporter on the network’s lackluster coverage of the recent spate of scandals involving Cuomo.
The Media Research Center, a conservative content analysis group, reported that CNN allotted 96 seconds to cover Boylan’s sexual harassment claims over two days. On Saturday, Cuomo announced an “outside review” into the allegations, refusing to comment on the accusations further until it is completed.
The allegations come at a time when Cuomo is facing a separate investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors into allegations that his administration underreported the number of nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent, apparently to avoid giving the Trump administration a political weapon to use against the Democratic Party.