Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to sexual assault allegations, saying that Cuomo “belittled what had happened.”
“I’ve been very clear about it,” de Blasio said of Cuomo’s statement at a Tuesday press conference. “Sexual harassment is not a laughing matter, it’s serious. That was a non-apology and it belittled what had happened. I found it unacceptable,” de Blasio said of Cuomo’s statement addressing the allegations.
Three women have accused Cuomo of sexual misconduct: Charlotte Bennett, Lindsey Boylan, and Anna Ruch. The governor’s office has denied wrongdoing in Boylan’s and Bennett’s allegations and issued an apology, but has not yet addressed Ruch’s story. (RELATED: Advocacy Groups That Pushed ‘Believe All Women’ Silent On Cuomo #METOO Accusers)
“I was brought up with a reverence and respect for women, very very strong women in our family,” de Blasio said, describing how he was raised by a single mother.
“The notion of a man taking advantage of his power in his office to intimidate a woman in his employment or to try and somehow to insinuate that she should somehow have sex with him, that is disgusting to me,” de Blasio said.
The New York City mayor referred to Cuomo’s Sunday evening statement in which he apologized if his actions were “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
“I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm,” Cuomo said. “I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.” (RELATED: Cuomo Backs Off Appointing Judge With Ties To His Ally To Investigate #METOO Allegations)
“I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” Cuomo said. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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