President Biden, known for his “physical contact” with people he meets, has given New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo a pass on charges from seven women of unwanted touching and sexual harassment.
Fox News reported Monday that Biden refused to join a growing list of Democrats calling for Cuomo to step down.
Asked Sunday about Cuomo, Biden repeated the White House’s stance that people should wait for the result of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” Biden said Sunday.
However, several new accusers have come forward since the White House made its initial statement.
The scandal has removed attention from Cuomo’s decision to require nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. He’s been accused of hiding the number of deaths resulting from the decision.
Fox News listed some of the incidents in which Biden was the accused:
- “Writer D.J. Hill told the New York Times that in 2012 while she and her husband posed for pictures with Biden he placed his hand on her shoulder and moved it down her back, making her ‘very uncomfortable.’
- “Former college student Caitlyn Caruso told the Times that she met Biden when she was 19 at an event about sexual assault that took place at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Caruso claimed Biden placed his hand on her thigh and hugged her ‘just a little bit too long.’
- “Vail Kohnert-Yount told the Washington Post that when she was a White House intern in 2013 she had an awkward encounter with the then-vice president when Biden came over to introduce himself.” She described Biden putting his hand on the back of her head and pressing his forehead to hers. “I remember he told me I was a ‘pretty girl.'”
- “Amy Lappos, who was an aide for Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told the Hartford Courant that in 2009 Biden put his hand around her neck, pulled her in, and rubbed his nose against hers.
- “Former Nevada politician Lucy Flores wrote in The Cut that in 2014 Biden put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head when the two were at a campaign event. She was running for Nevada lieutenant governor at the time.”
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
Biden made a statement in April 2019: “In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say ‘you can do this.’ And whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening.”
Cuomo had a similar response last week to one of his accusers.
“You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people, women, men, children, etc.,” Cuomo said. “You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. Men, women, it is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
More than 160 federal and state lawmakers from both parties have called for Cuomo’s resignation.
Biden also has been accused of more serious misconduct. A former Senate aide, Tara Reade, claims he sexually assaulted her in 1993. Biden has denied it ever happened.
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