[guest post by Dana]
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a tense exchange with reporters on Thursday, attempting to offer his own definition of sexual harassment while denying all allegations against him.
“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable,” the scandal-ridden governor said.
When asked about how he squares his initial apology with state law stating that intent is irrelevant in workplace harassment, Cuomo brought a woman reporter into a hypothetical scenario.
“You can leave this press conference today and say, ‘Oh, the governor harassed me,'” Cuomo said.
“You can say that,” he continued. “I would say, ‘I never said anything I believed was inappropriate. 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 you think is offensive.”
Cuomo was then asked if he would acknowledge that none of those comments on intent have any bearing on the law.
“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable,” he replied. “That is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That is you feeling uncomfortable.”
When @NYGovCuomo propositioned me for sex, he broke the law. It is very simple: the issue is about his actions, it is not about my feelings. He broke the law (you know, the one he signed). Apologies don’t fix that, and neither do denials. https://t.co/wuQ8eOH9sS
— Charlotte Bennett (@_char_bennett_) May 13, 2021
Ten women have now come forward and accused Gov. Cuomo of sexual harassment or misconduct.