US House speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in Sunday on the growing calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign over sexual misconduct allegations, saying he should “look inside his heart ... to see if he can govern effectively.”
But in carefully worded comments on ABC’s “This Week” program, she stopped short of joining a growing list of other politicians, including many fellow Democrats, in demanding Cuomo’s resignation.
New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader in the US Senate, is among those who have explicitly called for the governor to step down.
Cuomo’s accusers, most of them women who worked in the state government with him, “must be treated with respect,” Pelosi said. “They are credible and serious charges.”
She added: “The governor should look inside his heart -- he loves New York -- to see if he can govern effectively.”
Eight women have come forward since last month to denounce what they said were inappropriate words and gestures from Cuomo. One former employee said he slipped his hand under her blouse in an incident last year.
Cuomo, who at 63 has been governor for the last 10 years, has repeatedly denied acting in any way he considered “inappropriate.”
He has shrugged off the calls to resign, asking people to wait for the results of several investigations, including one being led by the state’s attorney general, Letitia James.
Pelosi told ABC she had “zero tolerance for sexual harassment” and said Cuomo’s accusers should be listened to.
But she said both the women and Cuomo “deserve to hear the results of these investigations,” adding that she had confidence in the state’s attorney general.