People Are Aghast That Andrew Cuomo Put Together A Montage Of Him Touching And Kissing People In An Effort To Defend Himself

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired back at a lengthy report of sexual harassment allegations, and what happened was… yikes. To get up to speed here in a slightly breezy (although hopefully still appropriate) manner, the New York Attorney General’s office released a 165-page report that detailed sexual harassment allegations from nearly a dozen women (at least 9 of which were state employees) against Cuomo. One of those women was a state trooper (who was tasked as part of Cuomo’s security detail) who alleged that he inappropriately touched her “in an elevator,” where he “ran his finger from her neck down her spine.” In another instance, Cuomo allegedly “took his open hand and ran it across her stomach.”

In response to all of the women’s allegations, Cuomo released a video statement (click here to watch the full event on YouTube) in very swift order to counter the NY AG’s conclusion that he facilitated a toxic workplace, which allowed “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” In doing so, he essentially gaslighted multiple accusers (by name) on national TV while claiming that he didn’t commit any of the alleged acts, and he suggested that people were misremembering moments and assigning wrong intentions on his behalf. The most bizarre portion of the video statement, however, was a montage of him touching and kissing people. It rolls out like an ill-advised effort to defend himself as a touchy-feely-kind-of guy. Not a good look!

Via the Recount on Twitter, here’s that montage, which includes a photo of Cuomo with, uh, Bill Clinton.

Cuomo, in denying the groping of anyone, also made this declaration:

“I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand. I do embrace people. I do hug people. Men and women. I do on occasion say ‘ciao bella.’ On occasion, I do slip and say ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ or ‘honey.’ I do banter with people. I do tell jokes, some better than others. I am the same person in public as I am in private.”

Well, no one can figure out why anyone thought this was a fantastic idea. It feels like the pinnacle of gaslighting, and think of the poor staffer who was directed to put this montage together. Naturally, people were absolutely beside themselves while reacting to this disastrous idea.

You can watch Cuomo’s full statement below, courtesy of PBS NewsHour on YouTube.

(Via Politico & The Recount)