The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Monday that Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “knows he’s in real trouble” over the sexual harassment allegations against him and that it was “breathtaking” to hear him apologize.
Haberman appeared on CNN’s “New Day” and discussed with host John Berman the specific accusations that are being leveled against Cuomo, how Cuomo’s response to the allegations evolved over time, and the details of his apology. (RELATED: CNN’s Brian Stelter Says Andrew Cuomo Has Resorted To ‘Media Bashing’, Compares Him To Trump)
Berman began by reading a quote from one of Cuomo’s accusers, Charlotte Bennett, who said that “the governor wanted to sleep with” her and that she felt “horribly uncomfortable and scared.” He noted The New York Times also reported that Bennett said Cuomo asked about her feelings concerning “age differences in relationships” and if she “had ever been with an older man.”
“I don’t believe that Governor Cuomo has disputed any of those statements that she has made. So what do you make now of his evolution in response and ultimately the apology for something?” Berman asked Haberman.
“Look, hearing Andrew Cuomo apologize for anything is breathtaking. I have covered him on and off for 20 years and I can’t remember another time when he has done that. I think it speaks to the degree to which he knows he is in real trouble,” Haberman responded.
Haberman then noted that Cuomo may have been trying to avoid Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James having “an independent probe” to look into the allegations. She said she thought “he resisted that repeatedly” but ultimately “had to throw up his hands and give in to it.”
“I do think it’s worth noting about his statement, John, that he is saying that, you know, essentially, it’s her fault. She misinterpreted. I was doing something, it had no intent at all, and it’s on her. I think that a lot of women have heard that over the years and I think that on any level in 2021, having an older man make comments like that to a subordinate, particularly a governor, is jarring,” Haberman concluded.
Cuomo has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple former female staffers. He has denied the allegations but issued an apology on Sunday acknowledging that “levity and banter” may have been seen as “unwanted flirtation.”
Cuomo has also received heat from Republicans and Democrats over the allegations, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi describing them as “credible and serious,” and both Democratic New York senators calling for an independent investigation.