White House won’t join Dems deserting Gov. Cuomo, Psaki says

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WASHINGTON — As congressional Democrats from New York called en masse for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign amid mounting sexual harassment claims, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday stuck to a wait-and-see approach.

Psaki said that although President Biden supports each of the Democratic governor’s six accusers having the right “to tell her story,” the White House would await the results of a review led by New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

“The president believes that every woman who’s come forward — there have now been six, I believe, who have come forward — deserves to have her voice heard, should be treated with respect and should it be able to tell her story,” Psaki said, largely repeating her answer to similar questions over the past week.

“There also is an independent investigation that is ongoing, of course, in the state with subpoena power, overseen by the attorney general, and he certainly supports that moving forward. We of course have watched the news of a number of lawmakers call for [Cuomo’s resignation], but I don’t have any additional announcements from here.”

Meanwhile, “the president and our COVID response team works with governors across the country, including Gov. Cuomo, to implement [pandemic] plans and we’ll continue to do that,” she said.

Psaki on Tuesday confirmed in response to a question from The Post that she has discussed the Cuomo scandal directly with both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Both Biden and Harris have been publicly silent on the spiraling scandal.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 12, 2021.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 12, 2021.
AP

At least 14 of New York’s 19 House Democrats are now calling for Cuomo’s resignation, joining New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who called for Cuomo’s resignation Thursday.

New York Democratic Reps. Caroyln Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Kathleen Rice, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Grace Meng, Antonio Delgado, Mondaire Jones, Sean Patrick Maloney, Paul Tonko and Brian Higgins are calling on him to resign.

Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said, “Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign.”

Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight committee, said Cuomo should “resign in the best interest of all New Yorkers.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking at a vaccination site in New York on March 8, 2021.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking at a vaccination site in New York on March 8, 2021.
AP

Ocasio-Cortez said: “As members of the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, we believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges.” 

Fellow Democrats began to break with Cuomo last month following a stunning admission from his top aide, Melissa DeRosa — first reported by The Post — that Cuomo’s team hid data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths so that it could not “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, which could amount to a crime.



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