Vice President Kamala Harris refused to respond to a question about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mounting sexual misconduct scandal when briefly speaking to reporters on Wednesday, despite being such an outspoken critic in slamming both Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former Democratic Sen. Al Franken when they faced similar allegations in the past.
During a virtual swear-in ceremony for Rep. Marcia Fudge who earlier was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 66-34 to be the next head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Harris after spoke briefly to reporters about President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The House on Wednesday passed the Senate amended version of the package with no GOP support from either chamber. The bill heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature which is expected Friday.
“Madame Vice President, do you have any comment on Gov. Cuomo?” the reporter asked. Harris walked out of the briefing room without responding to the question.
Harris abruptly walked out of the room without responding to the reporter’s question.
In recent weeks, Cuomo has faced growing calls to resign in recent days after six women accused the governor of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct. Earlier on Wednesday, the Albany Times-Union reported a person familiar with the sixth accuser who revealed disturbing new details of egregious behavior attributed to the governor, claims that are seen to cross the line into possible sexual assault. The broader allegations have led to over 85 New York lawmakers from both sides of the aisles calling on Cuomo to either resign or face impeachment with the calls growing louder by the hour.
When asked about the latest allegation from the unidentified aide earlier this week, Cuomo responded, “First, I’m not aware of any other claim – as I said last week this is very simple. I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
“As I said last week, I never made inappropriate advances. As I said last week, no ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable.”
However, on the national level, many prominent female Democrats who once called on their colleague to resign amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment and being vocal against Kavanaugh’s confirmation are now remaining blatantly silent when it comes to Cuomo.
Harris as a California Senator was a staunch critic of Kavanaugh when he was faced with now-unverified allegations of sexual misconduct during his Supreme Court confirmation process back in 2018. During the Senate Judiciary hearing for Kavanaugh, Harris said if the judge was confirmed to the high court, she would lead a formal impeachment inquiry and urged the FBI to investigate whether Kavanaugh lied under oath during his confirmation hearing.
Just a year prior in 2017, Harris was among a group of female Senators to led calls for Franken to resign amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere,” Harris tweeted in December 2017. “I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) December 6, 2017
During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Harris as a candidate even said that she believed women who had accused then-primary opponent Joe Biden of inappropriate touching in the past.
“I believe them, and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris said about Biden’s accusers.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was pressed on why both Biden and Harris haven’t come forward to personally condemned the New York governor, despite one of the accusers happened to work for the presidential campaign.
“So at what point is the first female vice president going to say something about this?” a Fox News reporter asked Psaki, noting Harris was “one of the most vocal critics” with both Kavanaugh and Franken.
“The benefit of doing a briefing every day is I can certainly speak on behalf of the president and the vice president,” Psaki said. “So let me reiterate that they both believe that every woman coming forward should be heard, should be treated with dignity and treated with respect.”
“There is an independent investigation that is happening now being overseen by the attorney general and she certainly supports that” Psaki added. “That’s how they feel. They’re personally both view this as a situation where both — all of the women coming forward should be treated with dignity and respect and should have their voices heard. And that’s the representation of their points of view.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who led calls for Franken’s resignation, as well as strongly opposing Kavanaugh and believed that former President Bill Clinton should have resigned over sexual misconduct allegations is now publicly refusing to join the fray for Cuomo to resign.
“Asking every female elected in our state when a person should resign or not resign really isn’t the conversation we should be having,” the former Democratic presidential candidate told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “And I have to say, it’s exceedingly frustrating because so many men who are also in public leadership aren’t asked these questions day to day. The women in our state are not meant to be judges, jurors, and executioners.”