Governor, Schumer enter sexual harassment spotlight

Dec 14, 2017

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a female journalist did "a disservice to women" for asking what his administration was doing to confront sexual harassment in state government. Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer says he is "pursuing every legal path" against whoever circulated a forged document accusing him of sexual harassment.

Following an event on Wednesday, WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt asked the governor about the state's response to harassment, in light of the surge in national stories on the issue, along with ex-aide Sam Hoyt. Cuomo declined to answer the question directly, instead asking reporters what they were doing to address harassment in their organizations.

He told DeWitt that asking about harassment in state government does a "disservice to women" by minimizing the issue. Instead, he noted it that the problem goes far beyond government and affects women in all industries and areas of society.

Cuomo did say he would put forward proposals to address sexual harassment in his state of the state address next month.

Meanwhile, several media outlets were shopped a document alleging Schumer wrongdoing and listing allegations by a former Schumer staff aide. The media outlet Axios said it had contacted the former Schumer staffer, who said the charges were untrue and her signature had been forged.

Schumer's office has asked the Capitol Police to investigate. The Senate Democratic leader told reporters Wednesday, "it was a phony allegation, forged" and baseless "from start to finish."

No major media outlets produced an account, but far-right figures such as Mike Cernovich promoted the phony scandal without naming Schumer.