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'He wouldn't hug his mother like he hugged me': Assistant who claims Cuomo groped her breast says he also 'rubbed her butt' and was always looking for 'sexual satisfaction'
Andrew Cuomo has resigned as Governor of New York, a week after being labeled a serial sex harasser by Attorney General Letitia James.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday morning in New York City, he insisted he is innocent and has never groped anyone, but is stepping aside in the interest of the people so government can focus on COVID.
He will replaced by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul in two weeks.
'The report said I sexually harassed 11 women, the reaction was outrage. It should have been. However it was also false. My lawyers have reviewed the report and raised serious issues and flaws that should concern all New Yorkers.
'When there is a lack of fairness it is a concern for everyone. The most serious allegations made against me have no credible factual basis. There is a difference between alleged improper conduct and concluding sexual misconduct. This is not to say there are not 11 women who I truly offended.
'There are and for that I deeply, deeply apologize.'
He went on to suggest that #MeToo has gone too far and that he didn't understand what would now be considered inappropriate.
'In my mind, I've never crossed the line with anyone but I didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.
'There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn't fully appreciate. And I should have. No excuses,' he said.
Cuomo insists he is innocent and that the AG's investigation was flawed. He says James' investigators didn't check basic facts and omitted evidence.
Earlier on Tuesday, Cuomo's attorney Rita Glavin gave a press conference where she again tried to undermine the women's allegations and say James' investigation was biased.
Glavin used a slideshow that was similar to the type Cuomo uses to give COVID-19 updates to chip away at the women's claims.
She asked why only 41 of the 179 witness interviews in the report have been transcribed and made public, and said the AG left out 'favorable evidence that did not support the narrative'.
One of the most problematic claims, she said, was that of the doctor who gave Cuomo his COVID-19 test last March on camera at one of his press conferences.
He told her "you make that gown look good", referring to her PPE.
'The Governor made a joke to the doctor in the hospital gown. Protected against COVID while she gave him a test.
'He said in front of the whole world, "you make that gown look good." That's not sexual harassment. I don't know why that was included in the report except to add another number and make the governor look bad,' Glavin said.
She added that investigators failed to interview key witnesses who could have contested the women's allegations and that it was a deliberate attempt to oust him.
'I don't mean to take away from how this woman felt but we do need to think qualitatively about what these women say.'
She pointed to a selfie that Brittany Commisso took with Cuomo, after he allegedly 'rubbed her butt' and said that it does not show her looking uncomfortable.
'For me as a lawyer, as a former prosecutor, I often use pictures as exhibits at trial. The Governor did not violate Brittany Commisso, he did not rub her rear end before this photo.
'I think this picture demonstrates the comfort level of someone who wanted a selfie with the Governor.
'She sent this to her friend, and there is a footnote, her friend said: "I'm so jealous."
'Men should also be believed and treated fairly. All people should be given that and everybody should have a chance to respond.
'Everybody should be scrutinized by facts and context. That hasn't happened here.
'Our country has a rule of law. I believe in the rule of law. Not mob mentality and not media mentality.
'The Governor deserves to be treated fairly and that did not happen here,' Glavin said.
Commisso is seen with Cuomo at an event. She appeared on CBS's show for an interview that will air on Monday
Brittany Commisso is pictured with her husband Frank, who ran for mayor of Albany in 2017
The assistant who says Governor Andrew Cuomo groped her breast described the alleged incident in more detail in her first interview, telling CBS This Morning that he hugged her and other aides in a 'sexual way' for his 'satisfaction'.
Brittany Commisso spoke out for the first time in a pre-taped interview that was previewed on Sunday and aired in part on Monday morning.
It is the first time she has been named publicly. In the Attorney General's report, she is referred to as 'Executive Assistant One'. Commisso says that Cuomo sexually harassed her for months when she worked for him but that it culminated in November 2020, when he groped her breast under her blouse in his office at the Executive Mansion - a claim he denies.
The Governor insists he is innocent and that the women are lying or have misinterpreted his affection for harassment.
'Those were not the hugs that he would give his mother or his brother. These were hugs with the intention of getting some person, sexual satisfaction,' she said.
She added that he would then hug her and kiss her on the cheek and once 'turned his head' to kiss her 'on the lips' at the last second.
Commisso has reported what she says happened to her to sheriffs in Albany. She wants Cuomo to be criminally charged. He has suggested that she is also planning to file a lawsuit.
Brittany Commisso spoke out for the first time in a pre-taped interview that was previewed on Sunday and aired in part on Monday morning
She said that he once also 'rubbed her butt' while they took a selfie together.
'I had to go over to the mansion to help him with the state of the state speech
'While I was there, the Governor said, "why don't you take a selfie?" I then felt, while taking the selfie, his hand go down my back onto my butt. He started rubbing it - not sliding it, not quickly brushing over it, rubbing my butt.'
She says that she only decided to come forward in March this year after listening to him deny the allegations of other women at one of his press conferences.
'That was the tipping point. I broke down. I felt like he was personally saying it to me.
'He thinks that he is untouchable... people don't understand. He is a professional fighter.'
She called his repeated denials of her allegations 'disgusting', adding: 'I know the truth and he knows the truth. I know what happened and so does he.'