Psaki dodges question about Biden’s refusal to call for Cuomo’s resignation
Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question Monday over President Joe Biden not calling for Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign.
“Let me first say that like everyone who continues to read stories, and new developments seem to happen every day, we find them troubling,” Psaki said.
“The president finds them troubling, hard to read and every woman who steps forward needs to be treated with dignity and respect,” Psaki said.
Biden did not urge the New York Democratic governor to resign while he addressed allegations of sexual misconduct against Cuomo on Sunday following weeks of silence. Biden spoke about the allegations to reporters during an unexpected question-and-answer session.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” Biden said.
Numerous Democratic lawmakers, including Democratic New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, urged Cuomo to resign amid several allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against the governor.
Psaki said Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris believe the New York attorney general’s investigation into the accusations against Cuomo is appropriate. The Department of Justice launched a separate investigation into Cuomo’s role for undercounting the state’s nursing home deaths and the attorney general is investigating the New York Democrat over sexual misconduct in the workplace.
“The investigation needs to be both quick and thorough consistent with how serious these allegations are and, of course, our objective though here continues to be to get the COVID pandemic under control, and we don’t want the people of New York or any state to be impacted negatively,” Psaki said.
The White House Press Secretary said the administration will keep working with Cuomo and anticipates him to be on Tuesday’s National Governors Association’s (NGA) call, which occurs each week. Psaki said it is Cuomo’s choice if he wants to tune into the phone call to keep organizing on pandemic mitigation and sending economic aid.
Cuomo is the NGA’s chair while Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is vice chair, according to the NGA’s website. Psaki also said Monday that Biden hasn’t talked to Cuomo and neither has the administration.