WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday praised the “courageous women” whose complaints of sexual harassment forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation.
“Our view is that this is a story about these courageous women who came forward, told their stories, shared their stories,” Psaki said at her daily press briefing.
President Biden last week called for Cuomo to resign following the release of the report, which corroborated claims that Cuomo made lewd remarks and inappropriately touched subordinates.
The White House did not receive a heads-up on Cuomo’s resignation and Biden didn’t personally contact the governor to urge him to step down, Psaki said.
Biden faces similar allegations of making women feel uncomfortable with unwanted touching and allegedly skinny-dipped while vice president in front of female Secret Service agents. A former Biden Senate aide, Tara Reade, alleges a 1993 sexual assault. But Psaki last week said the claims against Biden had been “heavily litigated” already, drawing pushback from Reade, who said her allegation was never litigated.
Biden was one of the last Democratic leaders to abandon Cuomo. Most members of New York’s congressional delegation in March called for Cuomo to step down as a series of women came forward to accuse the governor of misconduct.
The soon-to-be ex-governor also faces federal investigations into an infamous March 2020 state order requiring nursing homes to take COVID-19-positive patients and his administration’s subsequent cover-up of death statistics.
The Justice Department’s Civil Division last year launched an inquiry into all state nursing home deaths, The Post first reported in October. His administration’s admitted slow-walking of data on deaths, also first reported by The Post, in February triggered an investigation by the FBI and the Brooklyn-based US Attorney’s Office.
The Biden Justice Department recently said it closed a narrow probe of whether a civil rights law was violated in the state’s handling of patients at the roughly two dozen public nursing homes in New York.