President Joe Biden finally responded to the growing sexual misconduct scandal facing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Cuomo stands accused of asking female aides about their sex lives and kissing women without their permission, along with an accusation that he "aggressively groped" a female aide working at the governor's mansion. Cuomo has denied the allegations.
The incident of alleged groping was referred to the Albany Police Department by the New York State Police, the New York Times reported. Investigators, however, have not opened a criminal investigation into Cuomo, and the New York attorney general's office is leading the probe into the allegations.
What did Biden say?
Responding to a question from a reporter on Sunday, Biden refused to demand Cuomo's resignation, despite most prominent New York Democrats and top Democrats in general having already condemned Cuomo.
The reporter asked, "Do you think Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign?"
"I think the investigation is under way and we should see what it brings us," Biden responded.
Biden's posture toward the allegations facing Cuomo is drastically different compared to his response when he reflected on his handling of Anita Hill's allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991. At the time, Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving him significant control over how the Senate handled Hill's allegations.
In 2018, while reflecting on his handling of the Hill allegations — during Brett Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation, during which multiple women made unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against him — Biden said that women should be believed.
"For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it's been made worse or better over time. But nobody fails to understand that this is like jumping into a cauldron," Biden said, the Washington Post reported.
What has VP Harris said?
Vice President Kamala Harris, herself a champion of believing women who allege sexual misconduct against men, has also rebuffed questions about Cuomo, so far refusing to say whether the disgraced governor should resign.
Harris once said she believed the women who accused Biden of inappropriate touching.
"I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it," Harris said in 2019.