U.S. President Joe Biden said New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign after a report released Tuesday by the state's attorney general found that Cuomo had sexually harassed numerous women in violation of federal and state laws, allegations that he vehemently denied.
"I think he should resign," Biden told reporters Tuesday afternoon at a press conference in Washington.
Letitia James, New York's attorney general, said Cuomo allegedly targeted 11 current and former employees of the state government.
The probe uncovered a "climate of fear" created by Cuomo's behavior, which included unwanted kisses, groping, hugging and making unacceptable remarks, James said.
She said the investigation also found that the Democratic governor had retaliated against at least one former employee for complaining about his actions.
At a news conference in Albany, Cuomo denied any wrongdoing, declaring, "I never touched anyone inappropriately."
"That is just not who I am, and that's not who I have ever been," he added.
In March, Biden said Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, should resign if the investigation confirmed allegations of harassment.
"I don't know that anyone could've watched this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent. I know I did," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
The nearly five-month investigation was performed by two outside attorneys whom the state attorney general had hired. They spoke to 179 people, including complainants, current and former members of the governor's office, state troopers, and other state workers.
James said the probe was launched because of the "heroic women who came forward."
Shortly after the report's release, several of Cuomo's accusers demanded that he resign immediately, including Charlotte Bennett, who tweeted, "Resign, @NYGovCuomo."
The report is expected to be taken into account in an ongoing investigation by the state Legislature into whether there are reasons for Cuomo to be impeached.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who authorized the investigation, was one of a growing chorus of state lawmakers calling for Cuomo's resignation on Tuesday. He said in a statement that the report's findings point to "someone who is not fit for office."
New York's U.S. senators, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have been calling for him to step down since last winter. Gillibrand reiterated her demand Tuesday at a news conference in Washington.
The Legislature is also investigating the assistance Cuomo received from top aides to write a book about the coronavirus pandemic, preferential treatment his relatives received during COVID-19 testing last year, and his administration's decision not to publicly disclose some data relating to nursing home fatalities for several months.
Some information in this report is from The Associated Press and Reuters.