The fallout over an investigation finding that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had sexually harassed eleven women from 2013 to 2020 continued into the night Tuesday, with President Joe Biden joining the growing calls for the governor to resign.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced earlier in the day that a probe she commissioned in March showed that Cuomo had engaged in “unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and making inappropriate comments.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic governor defiantly held ground, insisting he will not be “distracted” from doing his job. All of which made for an awkward handoff on CNN between network anchor Chris Cuomo and colleague/pal Don Lemon, which didn’t escape the notice of the online world.
Chris Cuomo did not touch on the bombshell report during his show, even though he was included in the findings — the attorney general’s report said the younger Cuomo helped his brother craft a response in February, when the governor pushed backed on the allegations leveled against him.
During their handoff, Lemon and Cuomo briefly discussed the recent suicides of two more Capitol Police officers who were present at the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, before Lemon offered some love.
“I’m going to make my witness, and you know what? I love you, brother,” he told Cuomo, who replied, “I love you D-Lemon.”
“D-Lemon” then launched into a report on the scandal as he began his program.
“The calls are getting louder and louder,” he said. “This is what I’m talking about: top Democrats from New York to the White House calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. That in the wake of a bombshell report from the state’s attorney general that alleges the governor sexually harassed 11 women, including state employees and a state trooper.”
Don Lemon started talking about Andrew Cuomo the second that his brother got off the air pic.twitter.com/Pd1e7QgogL
— Jordan Lancaster (@jordylancaster) August 4, 2021
Biden was asked by CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins if he stood by his stance in March that Cuomo should resign if the probe confirmed the sexual harassment claims.
“I think he should resign,” the president said Tuesday.
“Look, I’m not going to flyspeck this,” he added, when asked about Cuomo including a photo of a hug with Biden in his defense. “I’m sure there are some embraces that were totally innocent. But apparently, the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t.”
President Biden calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign pic.twitter.com/acu3tLRrjr
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 3, 2021
Speaking of awkward, Biden has faced sexual misconduct allegations himself, from former Senate aide Tara Reade.
Equally uncomfortable, the New York Post reported that as of Tuesday evening, Vice President Kamala Harris “had not demanded Cuomo’s resignation — making her one of the only high-profile national Democrats not to do so.”
Not only did Gov. Cuomo say Tuesday he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” but he also added that “despite it all, at the end of the day, we get good things done for people. And that is what really matters.”
Remarkably, he stubbornly concluded, “My job is not about me, my job is about you. What matters to me at the end of the day is getting the most done I can for you. And that is what I do every day. And I will not be distracted from that job.”
Meanwhile, New York’s entire Democratic congressional delegation has now called for him to resign, as the three holdouts from a call to resign in March got on board.
House Democratic Conference chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, along with U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks and Tom Suozzi said “the time is right” for Cuomo to step down.
“The office of Attorney General Tish James conducted a complete, thorough and professional investigation of the disturbing allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo,” the statement reads. We commend the brave women who came forward and spoke truth to power. The time has come for Governor Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign.”
— Tom Suozzi (@RepTomSuozzi) August 3, 2021
And they were far from alone, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged Cuomo to resign, as did Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the state’s two Democratic senators.
And the list includes Democratic Govs. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Dan McKee of Rhode Island, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania:
NEWS: The Democratic governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) should step down in the wake of a report on sexual harassment.https://t.co/WOlHCVNePR pic.twitter.com/TvhvP88opo
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) August 3, 2021
But back to the handoff between Lemon and Cuomo, the responses were epic.
Here’s a sampling from Twitter:
That was tough to watch.
— Covid19ParticipationTrophyWinner (@gnanse) August 4, 2021
Love ya brother 😉
SPEAKING of brothers, tonight’s top story!
— Fellow Human (@ButterfieldBB) August 4, 2021
— Majin Goku Black (@MajinGokuBlack) August 4, 2021
Lemon’s “I love you brother” before knifing the other Cuomo has a Michael-hugging-Fredo feel to it https://t.co/3DHe97VTsv
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) August 4, 2021
Unbelievable: Immediately after the handoff from Cuomo Prime Time, Don Lemon jumped right into the Cuomo scandal and Biden calling on him to resign. This is CNN. pic.twitter.com/sVVxo3EIEj
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 4, 2021
“I love you brother,” Don Lemon says to Chris Cuomo in final words before transitioning to how Chris Cuomo’s brother sexually assaulted a bunch of women https://t.co/rUH4zPCOPn
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) August 4, 2021
“I love ya brother.”
“I love ya D. Lemon.”
This was quite the, uh, handoff, between Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon tonight on CNN. Watch the journalistic whiplash: pic.twitter.com/x0GsD8dwWz
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) August 4, 2021
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