Gillibrand, #MeToo advocate, hasn't read ex-Cuomo aide's sexual harassment complaint
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is accused of hypocrisy over sexual harassment claim; reaction and analysis from ‘Outnumbered’ co-host Emily Compagno.
Gillibrand made the admission to reporters, according to Politico. Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan published an essay on Medium this week accusing Cuomo of unwanted kissing and touching while she worked in his office. She also claimed he had staffers arrange meetings with her, where he made inappropriate comments, and once asked her to play "strip poker."
"Well, obviously these allegations are serious and deeply concerning and anyone has a right to come forward to be heard and to have allegations be investigated," Gillibrand said. "Governor Cuomo also has a right to be heard and he has come forward and has denied these allegations. But ultimately the decision will be up to the state."
Boylan also wrote she expects "the Governor and his top aides will attempt to further disparage me, just as they've done with Assemblymember Kim" — who came forward in recent weeks with his own accusations against the governor of bullying and threatening him.
The focus on Cuomo comes as liberal CNN and the governor's brother, host Chris Cuomo, have given the Democrat's controversies little to no airtime. Previously, the network gave Chris Cuomo free rein to conduct friendly, comical interviews with the governor, who wrote a book about successfully handling the pandemic in the middle of the pandemic.
Gillibrand has framed herself as a champion of sexual harassment victims and was one of the most prominent Democratic voices at the height of the #MeToo movement.
She led the charge against Brett Kavanaugh during his 2018 Supreme Court confirmation fight, famously declaring he was guilty of the sexual assault charge leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford because he had not asked the FBI to review it.
Gillibrand also led her caucus in pushing out former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., after he was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and misconduct in 2017. Many Democrats later said they were too hasty in forcing Franken's resignation, but Gillibrand said she had no regrets.
"My only decision was whether or not I chose to remain silent. My decision was whether or not I chose to carry his water and defend him with my silence," she said in 2019, during her brief presidential campaign.
She came under fire in 2019 for her handling of a sexual harassment claim in her Senate office. One of her aides resigned in protest after she accused Gillibrand's chief of staff of unwanted advances and said the office did not properly investigate her charge.
Cuomo's office has denied Boylan's claims. It's yet another controversy embroiling the governor, who is also facing an investigation over his suspected cover-up of coronavirus nursing home deaths and accusations of intimidating members of his own party.
Gililbrand endorsed Cuomo in 2018 when he was challenged from his left by actress Cynthia Nixon, but Cuomo did not return the favor when she ran for president, instead opting for eventual nominee and victor Joe Biden.
Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.