New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) delivered a defiant farewell address before leaving office following a series of sexual harassment allegations, decrying the "unfair" situation that led to his resignation.
Cuomo announced he would resign from office earlier this month after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report that found he sexually harassed 11 women, and in an address on his last day in office Monday, the departing governor slammed the report while continuing to deny the numerous allegations against him.
"A firecracker can start a stampede, but at one point, everyone looks around and says, 'why are we running?'" Cuomo said. "The truth is ultimately always revealed. The attorney general's report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic, and it worked. There was a political and media stampede. But the truth will out in time. In that, I am confident."
An investigation found that Cuomo harassed multiple women and engaged in "unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments," James' office said. On Monday, Cuomo said his "instinct" was to "fight this because it is unfair and unjust in my mind" but that he was stepping aside because it's "the right thing." New York Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul is set to succeed Cuomo as governor, becoming the first female governor of the state.
At the end of his address, Cuomo said Hochul will "step up to the challenge," and he also slipped in one final dig at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) by suggesting Eric Adams would bring a "new philosophy and competence to the position" of mayor.