(CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview Sunday morning that women should be believed but stopped short of calling for New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid sexual harassment allegations against him.
“The governor should look inside his heart, he loves New York, to see if he can govern effectively,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“What I said at the time that these revelations came forward, I said what these women have said must be treated with respect. They are credible and serious charges, and then I called for an investigation. I have confidence in the Attorney General of New York,” Pelosi said. “Again, with all respect in the world for what these women have come forward and said.”
Cuomo, facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances, 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 this week.
While Cuomo has apologized for “making anyone feel uncomfortable,” the Democrat has maintained that he “never touched anyone inappropriately.”
Pelosi said Sunday that “people have to look inside themselves and say, and Gov. Cuomo also, are they, how effective is their leadership in leading the state under the circumstances that are there? But I do think that the women deserve to hear the results of these investigations as does the governor. No tolerance, no tolerance, this is a subject very near and dear to my heart.”
Pushed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about whether she was calling for Cuomo to resign, the California Democrat responded: “I think we should see the results (of the investigation), but he may decide — and hopefully this result will be soon — and what I’m saying is the governor should look inside his heart, he loves New York, to see if he can govern effectively.”
When asked by CNN after the interview why she wouldn’t call for Cuomo to resign — despite Schumer doing so — Pelosi said Sunday: “He’s a New Yorker, I’ve said what I said, that’s my statement.”
A majority of New York’s congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on Cuomo to resign in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations and his handling of Covid-19 deaths at nursing homes.
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,” Schumer 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.”
Asked if her decision to call for Cuomo’s resignation is “reminiscent” of her move to call for then-Sen. Al Franken to step down in 2017, when the Minnesota Democrat faced sexual harassment allegations, the New York senator pointed to the pandemic.
“The thing that is very different about this moment in time is we are in the middle of the worst crisis of our lifetimes… and focused leadership is needed, and you need the support of your governing partners.”
During a conference call Friday, Cuomo made clear he would not be resigning from office despite the public pressure.” I am not going to resign. I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people,” he said, insisting that “New Yorkers know me.”