Video of the government at the time. Andrew Cuomo, who testifies against him in the Attorney General’s investigation for sexual harassment, shows a selectively forgetful, cocky, and often defiant board chairman – who at some point grins when his live TV flirt with a health department official is mentioned to him.
While more than six hours of video Cuomo was released on Monday and was apparently amused by an investigator who quoted his own lustful comment from a transcript of what he told a PPE-clad Dr. Elizabeth Dufort said while taking a COVID-19 test during a live press conference in May 2020.
“They say, ‘You make the dress look good,'” says Joon Kim, a former federal attorney hired to investigate by Attorney General Letitia James, while Cuomo smiles as he looks at papers.
During the July 17 interview with investigators, Cuomo claimed not to remember the nationally televised comments he made to Dufort, the former medical director of the DOH state bureau of epidemiology who is one of 11 sexual accusers Harassment listed in James’ investigation.
After Cuomo briefly took on a poker face, he returned to a half-grin.
At the end of the taped interview – with Cuomo alternating between boredom, complacency, and rejection – he tried to provide his own comedic input, joking that witnessing hadn’t been a fun experience all day.
“I’d like to say it was my pleasure, Mr. Kim, but I’m under oath,” says Cuomo, laughing his belly.
Cuomo – who wore a dark blue suit and light blue tie while chewing gum and sipping Dunkin during his questioning – also grinned as he played a combative pun with Kim when he asked if he was dating ex-actress Lisa Shields who he allegedly likened to that of the first sexual harassment accuser Lindsey Boylan.
“Today, Mr. Kim, I think you have to be very careful how you define this term,” says Cuomo with a wry smile. “‘Girlfriend’ could mean: I – she is a woman who was a friend that I saw romantically for a while.”
Cuomo was also forced to answer uncomfortable questions, which he answered with calmer expressions.
When asked if he has ever kissed a man on the lips, Cuomo pauses for a few seconds before saying blankly, “Not on purpose.”
âI kiss her cheek a lot,â adds Cuomo.
“Maybe I kissed a man on the lips.”
“Who?” asks Kim.
âI don’t know,â replies Cuomo.
“I’m not going to say that I’ve never kissed a man on the lips,” he says flatly at the end of the discussion on the subject.
When asked about the photo in which he kissed Anna Ruch at a wedding without her consent, Cuomo was dismissive, claiming that he had touched people of all ages and genders “hundreds of times”.
âBy the way, I make this gesture of touching the face hundreds of times,â he emphasizes. “Smaller children, old men, transgender people, I do face touching a lot.”
On the subject of a female event organizer, state auditors said that he [her] Butt âduring a Hudson River revitalization event in September 2019, Cuomo claimed he hadâ no memory âof the incident.
âI don’t remember touching a woman’s buttocks. Could it have happened by accident? By the way? Yes sir. But I can’t remember touching a woman’s butt on purpose. Can I pat a man on the backside? I can’t remember it either, but that may have happened. “
But although Cuomo was forced to explain myriad documented cases of inappropriate touch and comments to female staff members, he made it clear that he felt no remorse for his behavior.
“I regret nothing. Look, if you could repeat everything over and over, I would say it for sure – if I could repeat everything I have ever said to a woman or a man, I would say it differently, âhe says. “But generally no.”
He also replied “no” when Kim asked about “regrets in general or specifically about the language you use”.
When faced with impeachment proceedings following the legal and political consequences of the AG investigation, Cuomo announced his resignation less than a month after the marathon interview.
The newly released cache of documents and videos drove his younger brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, in hot water as he revealed he was extensively involved in promoting the former governor’s team against the scandal, despite publicly downplaying his involvement .