Emotional Cuomo chokes back tears in his farewell address to New York before he is replaced at midnight – but still manages to slam AG’s report as a political ‘firecracker’ and claim it ‘underserves’ women
- Cuomo gave a pre-recorded address to the state on Monday afternoon
- At midnight tonight, he will be replaced by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul
- Cuomo maintains he is innocent and has been taken down by politics and not because he’s a serial sex harasser, as AG Letitia James claims
- Her report sealed his fate and led a chorus of Albany Dems to call for him to be impeached
- Cuomo – who was facing tough criticism anyway for his handling nursing home COVID deaths – resigned before he could be impeached
- He can still run for governor again, in November 2022, and hasn’t indicated if he will yet
- On Monday, he appeared to choke back tears as he used his COVID catchphrase ‘New York tough’ for the last time
Outgoing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo choked back tears in his final address as governor, but managed to slam Attorney General Letitia James again and claim her ‘firecracker’ sex pest report underserves sexual harassment victims.
Cuomo will be replaced at 12.01am on Tuesday morning by Kathy Hochul, his Lt. Governor.
He resigned earlier this month after being labeled a serial sex harasser by Letitia James whose report upholds the allegations of 11 women who say Cuomo sexually harassed them.
After it was released, a chorus of Republicans and many Albany Democrats called for Cuomo to be impeached.
The State Assembly launched impeachment proceedings and three district attorneys opened criminal investigations into the allegations.
Cuomo then resigned, claiming he was stepping back because he didn’t want to be a distraction to the state’s ongoing work battling COVID-19.
Cuomo will be replaced at 12.01am on Tuesday morning by Kathy Hochul, his Lt. Governor. He gave a farewell address on Monday afternoon, where he appeared emotional
Afterwards, the State Assembly dropped its impeachment inquiry. He hasn’t been arrested or charged with any crime and he maintains he is the victim of a political attack by James, who has joked in the past that AG stands for ‘Aspiring Governor’.
In his farewell address on Monday, he thanked New Yorkers for ‘trusting’ him through COVID and choked back tears as he told them for the final time to stay ‘New York tough’ – his COVID catchphrase.
He started off by again claiming he was the victim of a political attack, saying: ‘Allegations must still be scrutinized and verified whether made by a woman or man that is our basic justice system
‘I understand there ae moments of intense political pressure and media frenzy that causes a rush to judgement that is not right, fair or sustainable.
‘Facts still matter. A firecracker can start a stampede but at some point everyone looks around and says “why are we running?”
Cuomo maintains that Attorney General Letitia James (left) was driven by a political desire to take him down and not to represent sexual harassment victims. He will be replaced tonight by Kathy Hochul (right)
‘The Attorney General’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic.
‘And it worked. There was a political and media stampede. The truth will out in time,’ he said.
Cuomo’s critics say he got off lightly and has never been held accountable for thousands of nursing home COVID deaths that they blame him for.
The impeachment investigating committee was also looking at the nursing home issue and was investigating whether or not Cuomo used state resources to fund his self-congratulating COVID memoir, Lessons in Leadership.
Now, those investigations have stopped.
Cuomo’s administration sent thousands of COVID-19 positive patients into nursing homes by signing a mandate that forced homes to take them.
They then obscured the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents by marking them as hospital deaths.
There was no mention of the nursing home scandal as he eulogized his time in office and congratulated New Yorkers for how they handled the pandemic.
‘I gave it my best… I tried my best to deliver for you. I want to thank my team, my family for their sacrifice and help in serving you. For the Cuomos, public service is a family affair.’
Cuomo then wished his successor ‘well’ in her new role and said she was ‘up for the challenge.’
He then spoke of Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate in New York City’s mayoral election later this year, saying: ‘Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York City.
‘I think he’ll bring a new confidence and philosophy.’
He said nothing of outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom he regularly sparred on the job and who was among those who called for him to be impeached earlier this month.
‘Thank you for the honor of serving as governor of New York. Thank you for allowing me to represent you. Thank you for empowering me to fight for you. Thank you for trusting me through COVID.
‘Thank you for making New York State the progressive capital of the nation. Thank you for the honor of serving you.
‘Never forget always stay New York tough, smart, united, disciplined and loving.
‘It’s the essence of of what makes New Yorkers so special. God bless you.’