Disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now reportedly expressed regret five months later for resigning in August over the sexual misconduct scandal.
Cuomo indicated in a Friday phone interview with Bloomberg News that if he were afforded a career mulligan, he wouldn't have quit office the way he did.
"I never resigned because I said I did something wrong. I said, I'm resigning because I don't want to be a distraction," Cuomo, 64, told Bloomberg News.
The ex-governor claimed that he's been "vindicated" by the court of public opinion. "I'm still focused on communicating what happened here. Because as a precedent, it has to be exposed," he said. "Vindication is not the reason to run for office."
Cuomo suggested that he has been exonerated by the five district attorneys who had declined to pursue charges over the sexual harassment allegations, shutting down the last of the criminal cases involving the career Democrat.
"It turns out in a remarkably short period of time that it did become all bogus. 11 became zero," Cuomo said during the interview last week. "If you do an honest summary, which is what I get from people on the street, I have been vindicated."
Although, four of the prosecutors said they've found Cuomo's accusers "credible" and Oswego District Attorney Gregory Oakes insisted to The New York Post that the prosecutorial decision is "not an exoneration" nor "a positive reflection."
Two sources familiar with Cuomo's thinking said that he has recently voiced eager desire to re-enter public life in some capacity, Bloomberg News reported Monday, noting that since he wasn't impeached, he isn't barred from doing so.
However, he deflected questions multiple times during Friday's conversation about running for office again and political ambitions for the foreseeable future.
Cuomo changed the subject to address feelings of anger and betrayal over the scathing probe led by Attorney General Letitia James, needing closure on what he considers a politically-motivated investigation that ignored inconsistencies.
He further alleged that James is setting back efforts championing women's rights, stating that the attorney general's bombshell report "hurt a lot of people in a lot of different ways. And it was a brand of ugly politics like I had never seen before."
"I think what they did here undermines the MeToo movement and the women's movement and undermines the law," Cuomo said of the probe, the cause of his downfall. "Because when you politicize claims, or trivialize claims, the next woman who has a legitimate claim is going to get painted with the same brush."
Cuomo, who remains obsessed with the attorney general, accused James of "prosecutorial misconduct" and is now advocating for a new state law that would penalize prosecutors, Bloomberg News reported, adding it seems improbable to pass state legislature that investigated possible impeachment before he resigned.
"No one, including Andrew Cuomo, can dispute the fact that multiple investigations found allegations of sexual harassment against him to be credible," a spokesperson for James said in a press statement to Bloomberg News.
"Only he is to blame for inappropriately touching his own staff and then quitting so he didn’t have to face impeachment. His baseless attacks won't change the reality -- Andrew Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser," the James spokesperson said.
An attorney for Lindsay Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who was the first public accuser, said he "should just accept responsibility for his actions and move on."
"Two independent investigations found he sexually harassed multiple women. Enough is enough," the former state economic development official's lawyer said.
Bloomberg News reported that Cuomo also said CNN's firing of his younger brother, axed TV personality Chris Cuomo, over revelations he meddled in the governor's cover-up was more upsetting to him than his own resignation.
The older Cuomo was also accused of enacting pandemic-era policies that killed elderly folks in the state's nursing homes, but he wasn't charged for that either.
Now that he's been cleared of all wrongdoing on the legal front, it's beginning to look like Cuomo was driven out of office for the political expediency of power-hungry progressives within the Democratic Party who are farther to the left.
The state's residents are now forced to contend with unelected Gov. Kathy Hochul who had seized executive power quicker than Cuomo could pack his bag.
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