6 revealing quotes from Cuomo's news conference on sex harassment claims

Cuomo’s defense on sexual harassment allegations is not viable: Trial lawyer

Trial attorney Heather Hansen addresses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference taking questions on sexual harassment allegations against him.

In a wide-ranging press conference, the usually boisterous and unabashed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized for his “unintentional” past behavior following allegations of sexual misconduct, adding that he is “embarrassed” by his actions. 

Here are six revealing quotes from a sullen, somber and at times near-tears Cuomo in Wednesday’s press conference:

“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly, I am embarrassed by it.”

Cuomo has been accused by three women of either sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. The new apology is further-reaching than one he issued Sunday, in which he stated that his actions might have been “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”

“I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never touched anyone inappropriately.”

Cuomo claimed never to have touched anyone inappropriately, after former aide Lindsey Boylan, who in addition to accusing the governor of making often-repeated sexual innuendos to her, accused him of kissing her on the lips and going “out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.” Anna Ruch, 33, claimed Cuomo put his hands on her lower back and tried to kiss her at a wedding in 2019. Charlotte Bennett, 25-year-old former Cuomo staffer, claimed Cuomo talked about his willingness to have relationships with women in their 20s.

Kissing “is my usual, customary way of greeting”

“You can find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people men, women. It is my usual customary way of greeting. By the way it was my father’s way of greeting the governor of this state,” Cuomo said. 

“However I also understand it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter my intent, it matters if anyone was offended by it… If they were offended by it, it was wrong,” he continued. “If they felt pain from it I apologize, I did not intend it.” 

“I’m not going to resign… We have a teetering New York City.”

Asked if he should step aside, Cuomo replied: “I’m not going to resign. I work for the people of the state of New York. … We have COVID, we have recovery, we have rebuilding, we have a teetering New York City.”

He noted that crime and homelessness in the Big Apple are “way up.” Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have a decades-long feud, and de Blasio has jumped on the Cuomo criticisms in recent days for the sexual misconduct claims and nursing home scandal. 

On the viral Anna Ruch photo: “My usual custom is to kiss and to hug and make that gesture”

“My usual custom is to kiss and hug and make that gesture. I understand that sensitivities have changed and behavior has changed, and I get it and I’m going to learn from it,” Cuomo said, referring to the photo from the wedding where he allegedly tried to kiss Ruch. 

“I wear a pin that says Pride, Integrity, Performance. That’s what it says on the pin.”

When asked who specifically Cuomo was apologizing to, he replied he was “apologizing to the young woman who worked here who said that I made her feel uncomfortable in the workplace.” 

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“To New Yorkers I am saying I’m embarrassed by what happened,” he said. “I wear a pin that says ‘pride, integrity, performance.’ That’s what it says on the pin. You can’t read it. ‘Pride, integrity, performance.’ So, I am embarrassed that someone felt that way in my administration.”

“I’m embarrassed and hurt and I apologize that somebody who interacted with me felt that way,” he continued. “I didn’t know at the time I was making her feel uncomfortable.”  

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

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