White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions Thursday about the new sexual harassment allegations raised against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the same day Cuomo is set to take part in a meeting with President Joe Biden and the remainder of the nation’s governors.
Lindsey Boylan, a former staffer in Cuomo’s office, accused the governor Wednesday of kissing her without consent during a one-on-one briefing and making other sexually suggestive comments. Cuomo’s office called the allegations “quite simply false” in a statement. (RELATED: Tara Reade, Rose McGowan Believe Cuomo Accuser Lindsey Boylan)
“The president has been consistent in his position: when a person comes forward, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Their voice should be heard, not silenced, and any allegation should be reviewed,” Psaki said Thursday in response to a question from Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “Gov. Cuomo is also the governor of one of the largest states in the country that has been one of the hardest hit, with millions of people still suffering from an ongoing pandemic and an economic crisis, and our focus is to continue working with governors from across the country, from a range of states, on how we are helping people in their states.”
Biden is set to deliver remarks at the National Governor’s Association’s winter meeting Thursday afternoon. Psaki noted during the briefing that since Cuomo is still “the head of The National Governors Association,” he would be expected to take part in the event.
During a followup question, Psaki defended Biden’s past comments on Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, when he stated that Cuomo is the “gold standard for COVID leadership” and is “doing a hell of a job.”
“To be fair, let’s put all the comments in context which sometimes is missing from these conversations we have here or during interviews,” she stated. “A the time — which was I believe, April of last year — the president spoke out and said positive things about a range of governors, Democrats and Republicans, who were stepping in when there is a vacuum of leadership at the federal level, when they were getting no information, when they were getting no help and no guidance from the former trump administration.”
“He made some positive comments about Governor Cuomo and his role in New York at the time as he did about a range of governors.”
You can watch Psaki’s entire press briefing below.