Cuomo tries to ‘redefine’ sexual harassment as he pushes back against accusers: ‘That’s you feeling uncomfortable’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been accused of trying to “mansplain” and redefine harassment in his latest defense against multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Asked on Thursday at a press conference about the allegations – which are currently being investigated – Cuomo said if he made anyone “uncomfortable,” that is “not harassment.”

“I never said anything that I believe is inappropriate. You can leave this press conference today and say, ‘Oh, the governor harassed me.’ I would say I never said anything that I believed was inappropriate,” he said. “I never meant to make you feel that way. You may hear it that way, you may interpret it that way. And I respect that, and I apologize to you if I said something that you think is offensive.”

The governor was then challenged and asked if his definition of harassment was “legally correct” as the “harasser’s intention doesn’t matter.”

“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said, doubling down. “That is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.”

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Left: New York City mayor candidate Scott Stringer, whose campaign was recently hit by sexual assault allegations. Right: US President Joe Biden, whose presidential campaign was unhurt by similar allegations.
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Numerous politicians have called on Cuomo to resign amidst his many controversies, primarily accusations from multiple women that he harassed them, including former aide Lindsay Boylan, who first detailed her alleged encounters with the governor last year. 

Boylan was one of many to take issue with Cuomo’s defiant press conference, accusing him of trying to redefine harassment. 

“His national microphone makes his message far more damaging than just to the people he has directly abused. It is damaging if we accept it. The governor should be removed,” she tweeted.

The reporter who asked Cuomo the question on harassment, Rebecca C. Lewis, also took issue with the governor’s stance. 

“He told me, a young female reporter pressing him, that I could leave the press conference and say he harassed me, but that doesn't make it true, then said the below quote to me. Yikes,” she wrote on Twitter. 

Others accused Cuomo of trying to “mansplain” away his actions and digging even deeper into his hole of political chaos.

On top of the sexual harassment accusations swirling around him, Cuomo is facing multiple other investigations, including one digging into accusations he manipulated Covid-19 death data out of New York nursing homes  – long an allegation lobbed by his critics  – and whether he misused state resources when writing his book on his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic for which he reportedly got paid $4 million.

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