New York’s two senators join mounting calls for Governor Cuomo to resign

(Reuters) – New York’s two U.S. senators joined other leading Democrats in urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign on Friday after a seventh woman came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, and Kirsten Gillibrand, a leading voice of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse, joined others including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in calling on the three-term Democratic governor to resign.

Cuomo, 63, the divorced father of three daughters in their 20s, again repeated his denial of the allegations on Friday and said it was “reckless and dangerous” for politicians to ask him to resign before they have all the facts.

“Women have a right to come forward and be heard, and I encourage that fully. But I also want to be clear: there is still a question of the truth. I did not do what has been alleged, period,” Cuomo said on a call with reporters.

“Wait for the facts. An opinion without facts is irresponsible,” he said.

Asked on Friday if he ever had consensual romantic relationships with any of the women, Cuomo responded by saying only that he never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, and was sorry if he did.

Hours after the governor’s call with reporters, Schumer and Gillibrand became the highest-profile national politicians to urge him to resign.

“Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York,” the two senators said in a joint statement.

A growing list of women including former aides have accused the governor of sexual misconduct, ranging from unwelcome flirtatious behavior at work to groping.

Reporter Jessica Bakeman became the latest on Friday, writing a first-person account for New York magazine. She said Cuomo had often put his hands on her, including one time when taking a picture with her at a 2014 holiday party when she said he remarked, “I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady.”

Bakeman said she did not want to smile for the camera with Cuomo’s hands on her, but decided it was easier to take a quick picture than challenge a powerful politician.

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