Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is pressing New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to clean up the “criminal cesspool” that exists in the wake of her predecessor, disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and now-former CNN host Chris Cuomo.
Stefanik, head of the House Republican Conference, the party’s No. 3 position in the chamber, made her comments in the wake of CNN’s firing of Chris Cuomo on Saturday following new revelations that he was not forthright with the network regarding his level of involvement in helping his embattled brother defend against a raft of sexual harassment allegations stemming from earlier this year.
In an interview with “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday, Stefanik, who replace anti-Trump Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming last spring, said that Hochul, who served as Lt. governor under Cuomo and took over as governor when he resigned in August, ought to prioritize cleaning up after them.
“Well, this is better late than never,” Stefanik said in response to Chris Cuomo’s firing. “I called for CNN to terminate Chris Cuomo back in August.
“For some time, we have known that Chris Cuomo is complicit in both the cover-up, but also the smearing and retaliation against the victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault of his brother, the former governor Andrew Cuomo, the worst governor in America,” she said. “This should have happened a long time ago.
“I’m glad that CNN has taken this action. But there is still accountability that needs to be heard,” she added.
She continued: “There is a sitting head of the State University of New York who has been revealed as part of the efforts to retaliate against these women and was part of the criminal cover-up. And Kathy Hochul, the current governor of New York, needs to make sure that we completely clean house from the criminal cesspool and the corrupt cronies that supported Gov. Cuomo.”
During a press conference in early August announcing details of the allegations, New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women.”
“This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines a light on injustice that can be present at the highest level of government,” James noted further, adding, however, that did not plan on filing any charges and would leave that up to the individual victims or other jurisdictions around the state.
“We have issued a report and all throughout the process we put our heads down, we’ve done our job. And at this point…we’re going to allow the chips to fall where they may,” James said.
As for Chris Cuomo, CNN media analyst Brian Stelter described his ouster as “death from 1,000 cuts.”
“I think this may be a situation, Jim, just drawing on my years as a media reporter, I think this may be a situation where it was death by a 1,000 cuts, where there were just so many headaches, time and time again, involving Chris Cuomo, that even though many viewers loved watching ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ and looked forward to his show, that he was causing so many headaches for the network and for CNN staffers, that ultimately this decision was reached,” Stelter told network colleague Jim Acosta Saturday.
“What we didn’t know until tonight, Jim, is that an outside law firm also came in, and that the law firm went through the thousands of pages of text messages and sworn testimony that was released back on Monday,” Stelter continued. “So there was clearly something in those documents that was found to be a serious breach of standards and practices.”
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