Monday, March 8, 2021

Whitmer supports independent probe into ‘very serious’ claims against NY’s Cuomo

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2021 at 11:28 AM

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she supports an independent investigation into the “very serious” sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The allegations here are very serious and need to be taken seriously, and I think that an impartial, thorough, independent investigation is merited and appropriate,” Whitmer told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

Whitmer, a sexual assault survivor, said she had a “gut-wrenching reaction” to the allegations against Cuomo, who has come under pressure to resign after several women have accused him of sexual harassment.

“There are a lot of American women who have felt how she felt,” Whitmer said of one of the alleged victims. “I think that is something that resonates and why we need to take this seriously and why there needs to be a full investigation.”

Whitmer declined to say whether she believed the allegations are true, but said they are “very serious.”

“If accurate and true, I think we have to take action, but we also need to make sure there is a thorough investigation,” Whitmer said.

Cuomo said Sunday that he will not resign and denied intentionally sexually harassing anyone, but he did apologize for “making anyone feel uncomfortable.”

Last May, when former U.S. Senate aide Tara Reade alleged she was sexually assaulted by Joe Biden, Whitmer expressed skepticism about the allegations. Later in the campaign, Whitmer was one of Biden's finalists in his search for a vice president.

"The Joe Biden I know, these stories are inconsistent with what I know and what I've seen, in terms of work that he's done to support women," Whitmer said on ABC's Nightline.

In 2017, Whitmer tweeted, “Sexual harassment is not a partisan issue and is unacceptable no matter who does it.”

The Justice Department is reviewing Whitmer and Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes. An aide to Cuomo said the administration withheld the nursing home death toll to avoid criticism from the Trump administration.

Investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff said last week that he’s suing Whitmer’s administration for data on nursing home deaths.

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