(The Hill) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in a new interview said he feels “vindicated” nearly six months after resigning from office in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, and he is not ruling out another run for office in the future.
His comments come after four New York district attorneys have publicly announced that they would not prosecute sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo. A fifth district attorney in Manhattan has also dismissed a sexual misconduct complaint against Cuomo, according to CNN.
A number of the prosecutors, however, have emphasized that the decision to not pursue charges against the former governor does not take away from the credibility of the accusations against him. Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes last week said the woman who brought the allegation against Cuomo was “reliable and reasonable.”
Cuomo, however, sees the decisions from the district attorneys as absolving him from allegations, despite the state attorney general releasing a report last year that concluded the then-governor had sexually assaulted 11 women—the report that led to his resignation in August.
“It turns out in a remarkably short period of time that it did become all bogus. 11 became zero,” Cuomo told Bloomberg in a telephone interview on Friday. “If you do an honest summary, which is what I get from people on the street, I have been vindicated.”
Bloomberg reported that Cuomo “studiously deflected questions” that pressed the former governor on his political future. He reportedly changed the subject to discussing New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) and her investigation.
Cuomo told Bloomberg he cannot discuss his political future until he feels a sense of closure regarding James’ report. He said he wants to first relitigate the allegations brought against him and the credibility of those who accused him of wrongdoing.
“I’m still focused on communicating what happened here. Because as a precedent, it has to be exposed,” Cuomo said. “Vindication is not the reason to run for office.” Last week, Cuomo was spotted dining with New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) at a Manhattan restaurant.
Cuomo and his team have spent time knocking James’ investigation since departing office. His attorney Rita Glavin told reporters last month that the attorney general’s report was “shoddy,” and argued that the outcome was “predetermined.”
One day before Bloomberg’s interview with the former governor was published, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the former governor, that Cuomo and his aides are boosting their effort to reinvigorate his public standing, which includes conversations about his first appearance in public since resigning from office in August.
The Hill reached out to a Cuomo spokesperson for comment on the Journal’s report.
Cuomo’s departure from the governor’s mansion reappeared in the spotlight last week, after CNN President Jeff Zucker announced that he was resigning from the network because of an unreported, romantic relationship he had with a senior executive at the company.
Zucker said he was asked about a “consensual relationship” with a colleague as part of an investigation into former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired from the network in December after documents revealed that he played a large role than previously known in helping his brother, the former governor, during his sexual harassment scandal.
Reports have said Cuomo’s legal team, which is reportedly in a battle with CNN over the former prime time anchor’s contract, asked about Zucker’s relationship with Allison Gollust, the network’s chief marketing officer.
Cuomo told Bloomberg that “collateral damage” stemmed from James’ report, adding that it “hurt a lot of people in a lot of different ways.” He also said, “It was a brand of ugly politics like I had never seen before.”
Former Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David was fired from his post after news surfaced that he advised Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal.