President Joe Biden has remained silent as Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces allegations of sexual misconduct from five different women.
The New York Democrat is embroiled in two separate investigations: one investigation into his workplace behavior by the attorney general’s office, as well as a federal Department of Justice probe into his role in undercounting nursing home deaths in New York.
The new president has not discussed the allegations against Cuomo, though White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris “believe that every woman coming forward should be heard, should be treated with dignity and treated with respect.”
The White House has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation on the matter.
Biden faced a similar set of allegations only a year ago. He was accused of sexual misconduct on eight occasions, according to Business Insider, including seven allegations of inappropriate behavior or touching and one allegation of sexual assault. His former Senate staffer Tara Reade accused him of kissing her, touching her, and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent in 1993.
Biden’s campaign denied the assault and said it “absolutely did not happen.”
Legacy outlets largely avoided Reade’s allegations for about a month before more evidence came to light corroborating her story. Pressure mounted for Biden to directly address the allegations, but he was not asked about Reade’s story until 37 days after she came forward. He then denied the allegations.
In a May 2018 speech at the New York State Democratic Convention, Biden said that he and Cuomo have a “deep personal friendship,” The Washington Post reported. In the address, Biden praised the governor, comparing Cuomo to his late son Beau Biden.
“Our families have a lot in common,” Biden said, WaPo reported. “We were raised in homes, one Italian, one Irish, where we were taught that the greatest sin anyone could commit, and I mean this literally, was the abuse of power, whether it was government abusing power or the abuse of economic power or physical power.”
In his memoir, according to WaPo, Biden described how Cuomo advised him on whether or not to run for president in the 2020 presidential election.
“Whatever decision you make, make sure you won’t regret it,” Cuomo reportedly said.
Cuomo and Biden also have chosen similar strategies for navigating #MeToo allegations, WaPo reported. When former Nevada state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores accused Biden of inappropriate conduct right before he launched his presidential campaign, Biden said he understood that his “gestures of support” made people “uncomfortable” but defended his behavior.
Cuomo similarly apologized if his actions were “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
“I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm,” he said. “I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.”
“I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” the governor said. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
Cuomo said that he understands now that some of his interactions “may have been insensitive or too personal” and that given his position, some of his comments may have made others uncomfortable.
“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to,” the governor said.