President Joe Biden said Sunday he wants to see what comes of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo when asked if the Democratic governor should resign.
“I think the investigation is underway and we should see what it brings us,” Biden told reporters on the White House South Lawn, explicitly weighing in on the allegations against the governor for the first time.
His comments come as most of the New York congressional delegation, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have called for Cuomo to step down. But White House officials have repeatedly stopped short of calling for his resignation, while still stressing the seriousness of the allegations.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has previously pointed to New York Attorney General Letitia James’ independent investigation in briefings. And White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told MSNBC earlier Sunday that “Every woman that comes forward … they should be heard, they should be listened to and they should be respected. That’s what the President believes, that’s what the Vice President believes.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday evening after Biden’s comments that the investigation into Cuomo, “ought to run its course.”
“What the President said is that there’s a process. These charges are very serious charges. They ought to be investigated and that process ought to run its course,” Klain said on MSNBC, later adding that the women making the allegations, “have a right to be heard.”
Vice President Kamala Harris has yet to explicitly weigh in on the allegations.
Cuomo, facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances, has apologized for “making anyone feel uncomfortable” but has maintained that he “never touched anyone inappropriately.”
He is also the subject of an impeachment investigation after the speaker of the New York State Assembly authorized the judiciary committee to begin the probe last week.
The allegations have also prompted a long list of New York Democrats to go further than Biden and call for his resignation.
Schumer reiterated that call on Sunday, telling MSNBC that Cuomo has lost the confidence of others that he needs to lead his home state.
“I salute the brave women who came forward,” the majority leader said Sunday morning. “There are multiple, serious, credible allegations of abuse so that Gov. Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and so many New Yorkers, so for the good of the state, he should resign.”
When asked whom Cuomo would listen to within the New York delegation, Schumer responded: “Look, I’m not going to speculate on the future, he should resign, he should resign.”
Gillibrand similarly said on Sunday that Cuomo “has lost the confidence” of his governing partners and the people of New York, repeating her call for him to resign.
On Friday, 16 members of New York’s 19-person Democratic House delegation said Cuomo must resign, arguing that the allegations have impeded his ability to effectively govern and serve the people of New York.
Still, other high-profile Democrats have stopped short of calling on Cuomo to step down.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview Sunday morning that women should be believed, but stressed she has “confidence in the Attorney General of New York” to investigate the claims.
“Again, with all respect in the world for what these women have come forward and said.”
This story has been updated with additional information.