In his first interview since announcing his resignation plans, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he both thought he made the right move and claimed he would likely have survived an impeachment trial.
“I did the right thing for the state,” Cuomo told New York magazine on Friday, three days after he made his resignation speech over a damning sexual harassment report from the state attorney general’s office.
“I’m not gonna drag the state through the mud, through a three-month, four-month impeachment, and then win, and have made the State Legislature and the state government look like a ship of fools, when everything I’ve done all my life was for the exact opposite. I’m not doing that. I feel good.”
A report from The Associated Press earlier this month said more than half of the state’s Assembly members have said they were in favor of moving toward impeachment if the Democrat didn’t resign.
On Friday, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on the state’s Assembly Judiciary Committee, which is investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the governor, pushed back against the decision to suspend impeachment proceedings, saying the legislature had a responsibility to the taxpayers to complete its months-long probe and finalize the report for the public.
Cuomo, in the interview, said he didn’t know what his next move was but seemed reluctant to take blame for what was in Attorney General Letitia James’ report. It claimed the governor had sexually harassed 11 women, more than had previously come forward, and retaliated against an employee who complained.
The governor, in his third term, has also been struggling under the weight of several other scandals, including accusations he undercounted the numbers of nursing home residents who died from the coronavirus.
NEW YORK ASSEMBLY MEMBERS PUSH BACK ON DECISION TO SUSPEND CUOMO IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS
He told the magazine Friday he was feeling “philosophical.”
“You know, I consider myself a student of history and I see everything through that lens,” he added.
Several people who were interviewed for the story asked to remain anonymous, the magazine claimed, because the interviewees said they felt Cuomo could eventually launch a comeback after his resignation and potentially get revenge against anyone who spoke out against him.
“The arc of his entire career,” an anonymous former state official told the magazine, “is one of thuggery.”
“The arc of his entire career is one of thuggery.”
Cuomo said he isn’t a “martyr” but insisted he also isn’t “disappearing.”
“I have a voice, I have a perspective and that’s not gonna change,” he continued. “And the details aren’t really that important to me to tell you the truth. You know? I’m a New Yorker, I’ve lived here, I’ve lived in Queens, I’ve lived in the city, I’ve lived upstate, I’ve lived everywhere, I came to Washington, so that’s … I don’t really care about that. I’ll figure that out. And I think I did the right thing.”
In his resignation speech, Cuomo said he took “full responsibility” for his actions, but he also blamed “generational differences” for women’s take on his heavy-handedness and continued to claim the “unfair and untruthful” investigations and allegations were politically motivated.
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“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone,” he said Tuesday, adding that his resignation would be effective Aug. 24. “But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to become the state’s next governor after Cuomo steps aside.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.