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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  August 3, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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e footlong! the eat fresh refresh at subway®. it's too much new to fit in one commerc- hello, i'm kate bolduan. here is what we're watching "at this hour." a tipping point, hospitalizations hit a critical number that we haven't seen since february. but the number of shots in arms is rising too, giving some reason for new hope. president biden is set to speak today. a police department left grieving. a fourth police officer who responded to the january 6 insurrection died by suicide. and courage in tokyo. simone biles returns to compete in the olympics, a finish she said means more than any gold
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medal she's ever won before. thank you for being here. we have a lot to get to this hour. but at this very moment, we're waiting for what is being described as a major announcement from new york attorney general letitia james. you see the live room. the details on what they will announce very limited. we're going to bring the news to you when it begins. we're also keeping a close eye on the white house. where in a few hours president biden will be laying out where the country stands right now in the fight against covid. it cop comes at a critical moment. with a stubborn resistance to get a shot by some still but also a moment of new hope. the white house met the goal of 70% of eligible adults vaccinated with one dose. although it is a bench mark that they met one month later than they hoped. but where the now hope comes in is the number of people getting
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shots in arms is on the rise again. particularly in states getting hit the hardest by the delta variant. here is how one nurse in alabama put it this to cnn this morning. >> there does seem to be this tipping point where they are finally a little more scared of the virus than they are the vaccine. and so they're seeking it out, like i said, they want to get back to some sort of normalcy but they're seeing family and friends getting sick and hospitalized and they're getting scared. >> the delta variant is still surging across country. mostly among the unvaccinated. more than 90 percent of the population lives in a county where people should now be wearing masks indoors. the country is averaging about 85,000 new cases per day, an increase of nearly 50% over the previous week. just look at the chart. it tells the story. five states make up nearly half of the new cases being reported. you see them there.
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louisiana, florida, texas, california, and missouri. but let's start in new york city, actually. where the mayor just made a major announcement regarding vaccine requirements here. athena jones is joining me with all of the details. so what did the mayor say? >> hi, kate. well this is a big deal and the mayor, he hopes it will make a big difference. he introduced what is being called the key to new york pass. this is something a program that will launch softly starting august 16th, coming into full effect and enforced september 13th, the week after labor day. it requires proof for vaccination for anyone who wants to dine indoors or work out in a gym or see a performance. as you could see there, launching in a couple of weeks and there will be an education campaign. this is similar to what we've seen france roll out, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative covid test and in italy. there is something that we've heard the mayor stressing over and over again. look, he stopped short just yesterday of bringing back an
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indoor mask mandate. he said friday that his focus is on vaccines, on getting more people vaccinated because that will make a difference. here is more of what he had to say about the new health pass. >> this is a miraculous place literally full of wonders and in your vaccinated all of that is open up to. you if you have the key, but if your unvaccinated, unfortunately you will not be able to participate. that is the point we're trying to get across. >> reporter: and the mayor had several leaders from the business community and the politics who came on to show their support for this move. some call it a defining moment. you had a congressman from the bronx and other state senator from a part of queens, these are areas that have had lagging vaccination rates when compared to the whole city. a lot of folks said this will help the city stay open and be good for business and health and the overall economy. >> thank you so much for that report. so hospital staff in major hot spots are sounding the alarm
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as unvaccinated patients continue to fill up intensive care departments n. arkansas the state reports the highest increase in hospitalizations since the beginning of pandemic. and in louisiana, which just reinstated an indoor mask requirement, one health official said that the state will likely hit today its highest number of hospitalized covid patients at any point of the pandemic. nadia romero is live in new orleans with this important side of the story. what r-- what are you learning there there. >> reporter: we learned that a disaster team arrived in louisiana this week. when you think about a disaster team, you think it is after a hurricane or a big storm. but no, they're here to help out after covid-19, specifically the delta variant has been ripping through louisiana and much of the south. and then the other part of that is the number of unvaccinated people. this part of the country lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to vaccination rates.
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now we spoke with the largest hospital in the state over in baton rouge, not far from here. and they tell us they're starting to see a younger population, cases are rising, hospitalizations in people under the age of 50 and children. now i asked them about the age and the oldest child is about 17. the youngest is a 3-week-old baby. there are nine children hospitalized with covid-19 and that one particular hospital, one of those kids is in the icu. so if you just think about what that must mean. not only for the kids but for the staff and their families dealing with covid-19 on such young people. while the governor here in louisiana, john bel edwards, he said we have all of that to contend with on top of the fact that we have a hospital staff shortage. listen to him talk about the dire need they have for more people to come and help out in the hospitals here all across the state. >> what we don't have is enough staff. we're short nurses in louisiana,
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period. for example. and right now, we have nurses that are out because they too have contracted covid and other staff members out and maybe respiratory therapists and so forth and this is really causing a tremendous problem across our state. >> reporter: soo so there is a bright spot here. we're seeing in eight states with the lowest vaccination rates they are starting to pick up with more people getting vaccinated. finally at this point during the pandemic. kate. >> nadia, thank you for shining a light on this. joining me now is viral specialist jorge rodriguez. let's start in louisiana where nadia is doing the reporting. hearing from doctors that they're out of beds, that they are just getting crushed and especially as nadia was pointing out that there seems like there are so many children coming to the hospital. one doctor saying they're not accepting more children because they're out of pediatric beds,
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what does this tell you about the variant? >> what it tells me is obviously, that this variant is very contagious. this variant and any virus is going to go where it can infect the host. the people that it is going to infect the most are those that are unvaccinated. that should be clear to everybody. what does that mean? adults that are unvaccinated and unsp unfortunately those under the age of 12 are the most sus settable to the virus. we've been saying that and now unfortunately that is becoming obvious and true. >> and i have to call it the silver lining in this scary moment as you heard we played some sound of a nurse from the top of the show that said in alabama that they're seeing somewhat of a tipping point the way she described it. that more people are getting shots, as they're hesitant, because they're becoming a little more scared of the virus than they are of the vaccine. what do you think of this? >> well, i think, a., good, that
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is exactly how people's mindset should be. one of the bad things about this pandemic, is that people don't see how the people that get this suffer and how they die and because they die alone they can't see it. but now -- >> doctor, i'm going to have to cut in. i need to jump over right now. the attorney general of new york, letitia james, coming to the podium for what is being billed as a major announcement. let's listen in. >> good morning. i'm joined here today by ap clark and june kim, the two lead attorneys designated as special deputies to the attorney general's office to announce the findings of their investigation into allegations of sexual harassment made against governor andrew cuomo. i'll make a brief statement and then turn it over to mostly sunny -- to miss clark and mr. kim who will delve into the
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findings. the independent investigation has concluded. that governor andrew cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and violated state law and specifically the investigation found that governor andrew cuomo sexual harassmented current and former state employees by engaging in unwelcome and noncon sen seoul touching and making numerous comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. the investigators independently corroborated and substantiated these facts through interviews and evidence and including contemporaneous notes and communications. this evident will be made available to the public along with the report. this investigation was started after a number of women publicly
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alleged that they had been sexually harassed by governor cuomo and on march 1st of this year, the governor's office made a referral to my office pursuant to state executive law 638 regarding these allegations. executive law section 638 permits the new york attorney general's office with the approval of the governor or when directed by the governor to inquire into matters concerning the public peace, the public safety, and the public justice. this referral issued by the governor enabled my office to appoint independent outside investigators to look into these allegations and on march 8th, 2021, ann clark and june kim, they were officially deputized as special deputies. mostl
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miss clark and mr. kim were chosen to lead the investigation because of the decades of work at the highest levels. they're deep expertise on matters in question. and their careers fighting to uphold the rule of law. ann clark is a partner at vlad nick and raskin and clark p.y. consider she focused on employment law issues on behalf of employees at trial and appellate levels and during the 30-year career miss clark has represented many in employment and sexual harassment and other discrimination cases in the private sector in education, and in government. she also has deep experience with retaliation, whistleblower, breach of contract and concentration in ben cases. june kim is a partner at cleary, gottlieb, steen and hamilton, llp. and for more than two decades he's worked at the highest
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levels of government and in private practice. from march 2017 to january 2018 he served as the acting united states attorney for the southern district of new york. as the most senior federal law enforcement officer in the district. he over saw all criminal and civil litigation conducted on behalf of the united states. before becomes acting united states attorney, mr. kim served in various leadership positions in the office, including deputy united states attorney, chief of the criminal division, and chief council to the united states attorney. miss clark and mr. kim are experienced, credible, and deeply respected professionals. and together they ensure that this investigation was both independent and thorough. over the course of the
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five-month investigation, the investigators spoke to 179 individuals. including complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, state troopers, additional state employees, and others who interacted regularly with the governor. in addition, they reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence including documents, emails, texts, audio files, and pictures. these interviews and pieces of evidence reveal a deeply disturbing yet clear picture. governor cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws. the independent investigation found that governor cuomo sexually harassed multiple
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women. many of whom were young women. by engaging in one wanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments. further, the governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. and governor cuomo's administration fostered a toxic workplace, that enabled harassment and created a hostile work environment, where staffers did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints about sexual harassment due to a climate of fear and given the power dynamics. the investigators found that governor cuomo's actions in those of the executive chamber violated multiple state and federal laws. as well as the executive chamber's own written policies.
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this investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government. and shines light on injustice that could be present at the highest levels of government. but none of this, none of this would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward. and i'm inspired by all of the brave women who came forward but more importantly i believe them. and i thank them for their bravery. and i thank the independent investigators for their professionalism, despite the attacks and for their dogged determination that brought us to the truth.
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and now, we will hear from june kim and ann clark who will walk us through the report and thei r findings. >> thank you, attorney general james. good morning. my name is june kim. and along with my colleague ann clark, we have led the team at our two -- we have led our teams at our two law firms in conducting the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by governor cuomo. we have now completed our investigation and have made our findings and reached our conclusions. it is set forth in a detailed report issued today.
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as set forth in the report, we find that the governor on numerous occasions, engaged in conduct that constitutes unlawful sex-based harassment. especially we find that the governor sexually harassed a number of current and former new york state employees. he did so by among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching. and also repeatedly making comments of a sexualized or gender-based nature. our investigation revealed that these were not isolated incidents. they were part of a pattern. the governor's pattern of sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his
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own staff. but extended to other state employees, including a state trooper who served on his protective detail. there are 11 complainants whose allegations are set forth in great detail in the report. nine of them are or were employed by the state of new york or a state entity. the complainants interacted with the governor or different circumstances. for example, some of them met with him regularly as an executive assistant or as members of his staff or as i said as a trooper on his protective detail. while others only met him once. but all of them experienced harassing conduct from the governor. some suffered through unwanted touching and grabbing of their
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post intimate body parts. others suffered through repeated offensive sexually suggestive or gender-based comments, a number of them endured both. none of them welcomed it. and all of them found it disturbing, humiliating and uncomfortable and inappropriate. and now we find that it was unlawful sex-based harassment. our investigation has also found that the executive chamber responded to allegations of sexual harassment in ways that violated their own internal policies. and also constituted unlawful retaliation with respect to one of the complainants. and finally, based on our investigation, we concluded that the executive chamber's workplace culture, one rife with bullying, fear and intimidation
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on the one hand while normalizing frequent flirtations and gender-based comments by the governor on the other, creates the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment and retaliation to occur and to persist. as the attorney general has said, we reach these finding and conclusions after a thorough and independent investigation. we were allowed to and did follow the facts without fear, without favor. as you'll see in the report, our findings were supported by extensive evidence that includes interviews and testimony from 179 witnesses, and review of tens of thousands of documents. i'll now turn it over to my colleague ann clark to walk through some of the specifics related to the sexual harassment, the policy violations and the retaliation.
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>> we find that the governor on many occasions engaged in sex-based harassing conduct and conversations. the most serious was the governor's unwelcome physical contact with women including touching inmatt body parts. he engaged in this conduct with state employees including those who didn't work in the executive chamber as well as non-employees. one current employee who we identify as executive assistant number one entered repeated physical violations. on november 16th, 2020, in the executive mansion, the governor hugged executive assistant number one and reached under her blouse to grab her breast. this was the culmination of a pattern of inappropriate sexual conduct, including numerous close and intimate hugs where the governor held her so closely that her breasts were pressed against her body and he
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sometimes ran his hands up and down her back while he did so. there were several occasions on which the governor grabbed her butt. executive assistant number one vowed she will take these violations, as she put, it to the grave. she was terrified if she spoke out she would lose her job. but she broke down in front of colleagues when she heard the governor on march 3rd, 2021, in his press conference claim that he had never touched anyone inappropriately. she then confided in her co-workers as to what had a happened and they were the wunt ones that reported the conduct to the attorneys in the executive chamber. the governor also several times inappropriately touched a state trooper, assigned to the unit to protect the governor. in an elevator while standing behind the trooper, he ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said, hey you. other time she was standing holding the door open for the
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governor, and as he passed, he took his open hand and ran it across her stomach from her belly button to where the hip where she keeps her gun. she told us that she felt completely violated to have the governor touch her as she put it between her chest and her privates. the governor also inappropriately touched women who were attending work-related events at which the governor made remarks. at one event in september 2019, while having his picture taken with an employee of a tate entity, the governor grabbed this yunl young woman's butt. at another event in may of 2017, the governor pressed and ran his fingers across the chest of a woman while reading the name of her company whose logo was on her chest. the governor also engaged in a widespread pattern of subjecting women to unwanted hugs and kisses and conduct that is not
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just old-fashioned affectionate behavior as he and some of his staff would have it. but unlawful sex-based harassment. in addition to the physical con duck, our investigation found that the governor regularly made comments to staff members and state employees that were offensive and gender-based. for example, the governor crossed the line many times when speaking with charlotte bennett, a brief executive assistant in spring of 2020. when she confided in the governor that she had been sexually assaulted in college, he asked her for the details of her assault. when talking about potential girlfriends, he said he thought he would date women as young as 22, knowing that miss bennett was 25 at the time. he asked whether she had been with older men. he told her that he was lonely and wanted to be touched. he asked her if she was monogamous and what she thought about mon og my.
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and he speculated about her history as a sexual assault survivor might effect her romantic life. he told her she looked like daisy duke and suggest she get a tattoo on her butt and asked her if she had any piercings anywhere other than her ears. she texted to a friend on the day when many of the comments were made that she was upset and confused and that she was shaking. another example is the governor's comments to the state trooper, the same trooper he touched on stomach and back. after the governor had become single, he asked the trooper how seld she was. when she responded that she was in her late 20s, he said that is too old for him. he then asked her how much of an age difference he thought he could have between him and a girlfriend and have the public still accept it. she suggested it might be a good idea to stick with women at least as old as your daughters. he then tried to deflect the conversation by asking the
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governor what he was looking for in a girlfriend. he responded that he was looking for somebody who could handle pain. another time when the governor found out that the trooper was engaged, he asked her why she would want to get married because amoth other things your sex drive goes down. as detailed in the report employees recountered a pattern of comments and conversations such as the governor repeatedly asking executive assistant number one whether she would cheat on her husband. saying to her, if you were single, the things i would do to you. telling her that she looked great for her age which was early 30s and for a mother. calling her and co-worker alyssa mig grand jury mingle mommas. comparing lindsey boil an to a more attractive version of his ex-girlfriend and actresses. women also described to us having the governor seek them out, stare intently at them and look them up and down or gaze at
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their chest or butt. in sum, the governor routinely interacted with women that focused on their gender sometimes in a explicit sexual manner that women found humiliating. law prevents gender based sexual harassment in the workplace. governor in august of 2019 passed a law that eliminated a new york state the requirement that harassing conduct needed to be severe or pervasive. in new york a woman need only show that she was treated less well at least in part because of her gender. the governor's conduct detailed in the report clearly meets and far exceeds this standard. we also find that executive chamber failed to follow its own harassment policies and procedures. ones that on paper are consistent with new york legal requirements. this was shown by the handling
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of charlotte bennett's complaint. she told the governor's staff about recent conversations of a sexual nature that were so uncomfortable she no longer wanted to interact with the governor. the chief of staff related the complaints to others if the governor's inner circle and transferred miss bennett within days. two weeks later the chief of staff and a special council spoke with miss bennett who detailed interacts with the governor that went back to may of 2019. the chief of staff and special council both found miss bennett to be credible. the chief of staff consulted with the special council and with melissa derosa, the secretary to the governor and they decided they did not need to report this to the governor's office of employment relations or conduct any meaningful investigation. they simply moves miss bennett and not having a junior staffer not be alone with the governor and even that was to protect the
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governor. that response we find was a violation of the executive chamber harassment policy which clearly requires that all possible harassment be reported to and investigated. now six months later in december of 2020 when lindsey boilan tweeted she had been sexually harassed think failed to report the issue. certain own advisers knew the allegations that charlotte bennett had made and no one treated her allegations seriously other than as a threat to the governor. rather than any effort to determine if the governor had engaged in a pattern of sexually harassing behavior, a team of senior staffers, former staffers and ouchd confidants with no official title or role mobilized to attack and try to neutralize miss boylan by sharing
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desdes disparaging information with the press. within hours of her alleging of sexual harassment. key members have contained confidential memos one stamped attorney/client privilege and between miss boylan and an assistant. then they redacted the names of individuals other than miss boylan and sent the memos to reporters. there was also a proposed letter or op-ed drafted by the governor that went through several drafts. the letter attacked miss boylan for alleged conduct at work for alleged conduct of men other th than the governor and post you'lling conspiracies including that she was supported by far right republicans and members of donald trump. and it was sent to a vary the of people out ever outside of the executive chamber to get their advice and shared ultimately with at least one member of the
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press. the governor was arguing for the release of that letter. he was finally convinced to abandon it by a number of people who thought the letter was a bad idea in part because what was in the letter couldn't be substantiated and because they thought that victim shaming would be bad as a strategy. both federal and state law prohibit an employer from taking any action that with dissuade a reasonable employee or former employee from making or supporting a charge of discrimination. under that standard, the confidential release of internal records to the press and the dissemination of the letter to disparaging miss boylan constituted unlawful retaliation. i will turn it back to mr. kim with the workplace culture within the executive chamber. >> thank you, miss clark. as set forth in our report, we find that the culture within the executive chamber contributed to
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the conditions that allowed the governor's sexual harassment conduct to occur and to persist. the culture informed the way in which the executive chamber responded to allegations of sexual harassment as miss clark has described through violations of their own policies, and through unlawful retaliation. what was the culture? words that witnesses have used prerepeatedly to describe it include toxic, hostile, abusive. other used words like fear, intimidation, bullying, vindictive. as one senior staffer stated bluntly, as a sexual harassment allegations became public, in march of this year in text exchanges, with others -- with another in the executive -- in
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the administration. i quote, hopefully when this is all done, people will realize that the culture even outside of the sexual harassment stuff is not something that you could get away with. you can't berate and terrify people 24/7. closed quote. it was a culture where you could not say no to the governor. and if you upset him or his senior staff, you would be written off, cast aside, or worse. but at the same time, the witnesses described a culture that normalized and over looked every day flirtations, physical intimacy and inappropriate comments by the governor. one senior staffer testified that at a work event, she sat on the governor's lap. another staffer said she
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recalled kissing the governor on the lips. the governor testified that those things may have happened with senior staffers. one complainant described her interactions with the governor by saying they were, quote, strange and uncomfortable. but it was like "the twilight zone," the typical rules did not apply. you should just view it as a compliment if the governor finds you aesthetically pleading enough, closed quote. the coexistence and the executive chamber, executive chamber's culture of fear and flirtation, intimidation, and intimacy, abuse and affection creates a work environment ripe for harassment. as another complainant testified and i quote, what makes it so hard to describe every single inappropriate incident is the
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culture of the place. on the one hand, he makes all of this inappropriate and creepy behavior normal. and like you should not complain. on the other hand you see people getting punished and screamed at if you do anything where you disagree with him or his top aides. i really just wanted to go to work and be recognized for my work and nothing else, closed quote. charlotte bennett, the complainant as miss clark mentioned who was transferred after she reported inappropriate comments by the governor to senior staff, summarized her experience in a text message as follows. quote, the verbal abuse, intimidation and living in constant fear were all horribly toxic, dehumanizing and
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traumatizing. and then he came on to me. i was scared to imagine what would happen if i rejected him. so i disappeared instead. my time in public service ended because he was bored and lonely. it still breaks my heart. that is a quote from a text that miss bennett wrote. the culture, this culture made it all the more difficult if not impossible for complain ants to report the harassment from which they were suffering, particularly when the harasser was the governor of the state of new york. but one by one, one courageous woman after another stepped forward, they stepped forward to say enough is enough. they came forward in our
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investigation to tell us about their experiences. the harassment they suffered at the hands of the governor. in our report, we've used their words. and their words so long silenced speak loudly for themselves. these brave women stepped forward to speak truth to power. and in doing so, they expressed faith in the belief that although the governor may be powerful, the truth is even more so. this is what lies at the heart of our investigation and the findings in our report. >> we will now take questions and the questioning will be directed by delaney kempner.
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>> hold on. please say your name and your -- >> [ inaudible ] i wonder if the governor will be facing any -- i know this is a civil investigation but will you be making any report to prosecutors with the state or federal charges? >> our work is concluded and the document is now public. and the matter is a civil in nature and is not -- does not have any criminal consequences. it is my understanding -- >> i will state that it is our understanding that for the young woman who breast was groped to the albany police department already has a report about that. as for anything else, as the attorney general stated, all of the information is fully documented in the report and any prosecutors or police departments could look at the evidence and determine if they want to take further action.
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>> now that the report has been -- will your office be -- [ inaudible ]. >> it was in coordination between the office of attorney general and the assembly. the document is now public and will be distributed to members of the assembly as well as the leadership. >> can the governor -- can the governor be sued in any way, is that a statute of limitations or are there any penalties speci specifically tied to this report. >> there is no penalties tied to this report. the women can decide, some of the women could decide themselves if they want to bring a civil action. the statute of limitations is generally three years under one federal statute and the state law and a little bit shorter under another federal statute
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although for hostile work environments, as long as one act occurs within the statute of limitations, one could go back to cover the entire hostile work envir environment. >> and in regard to the -- [ inaudible ]. >> that was taken into account in determining lie for sexual harassment. >> can i ask you, do you think the governor, given the devastating nature of this report, i get what you're saying about it is up to local prosecutors to move forward on this. but do you think this would all be wrapped up well if you resigned, leave? >> that decision is going to be up to the governor of the state of new york. the report speaks for itself. and right now i think we should only be focused on the courageous and bravery of the women who came forward. -- on keeping women safe and
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believing women and allowing them to speak their truth. and that is exactly what this document does. >> you mentioned in your opening remarks today that defending the credentials of your investigators today. are you personally bothered by the governor's own remarks in the past week or so that you could just google their backgrounds and draw your own conclusion that this is a politically motivated investigation. >> there were attempted to undermine and to politicize this investigation. and there were attacks on me as well as members of the team which i find offensive. and our focus again should be on the bravy and the courage of these 11 women and of the others who came forward. these allegations were substantiated and were corroborated and the keem before you, are professionals that are
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widely respected in new york and across this nation. and i support their work. will defend their work. and i believe these women. >> you mentioned that a corroborated a lot of what the witness testimony was when you spoke with them during the investigation. when you interviewed governor cuomo, did he admit to or deny regarding of what was said here? >> there was a combination. there are some incidents that he admitted to but had a different interpretation of. and there were other things that he denied or said he didn't recall. >> you could speak a little bit more about that. you could speak more about what that conversation, that 11th hour conversation was like? >> again, we can't -- there were certain things like he admitted that he asked miss bennett whether she had been involved with older men. he denied touching the state
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trooper though he said he may have kissed her at an event and there were certain things that he turned around and said that for example the executive assistant number one, that he did hug her repeatedly but claimed she was the one who initiated the hugs. so it was a mixture of admitting to certainly things but putting a different spin on them and denying others. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> shimon prokupecz from cnn. what are the next steps here. now this report, obviously a lot of the devastating information in it, a lot people are going ask what happens next, what are the next steps that you would like to see perhaps maybe the assembly take or someone else take to have some other kind of punishment or something else here because now it seems like we have this report and -- [ inaudible ]. >> we were tasked with the responsibility of engaging in an investigation. and we have concluded our
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investigation. and our work is done. and so as it relates to next steps, that is entirely up to the governor and/or the assembly. and the general public. but the work of the office of the attorney general and special deputies has concluded. >> do you think the governor should run for re-election. >> that is a political question. >> we're going to go virtual. >> -- "the new york times." an individual with a history of running a workplace like this were running for governor, would you consider that person fit to serve as the leader of new york state? >> i won't engage in speculation. the report speaks for itself. they substantiated and corroborated the findings and found the governor violated the state laws. >> this is the last one.
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>> nbc news, as a prosecutor and as a attorney general, are you frustrated that you can't move criminally an those charges, numerous charges that you and the investigators have said are both state, violate state and federal law? >> it is not an issue of being frustrated. the issue was we were tasked by the responsibility by the governor to issue a report and we did issue a report and we put our heads down and we've done our work and at this point the chip -- we're going to allow the chips to fall where they may. >> thank you, everybody. if you have a question, click the raise your hand button. first we're going to hear from john campbell from gannett, your mic is open. >> hi, attorney general, a couple of questions and then apologize, it is tough to hear some of the questions so some of these might be repeats here.
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but the investigation into the governor's book, book deal as well as the staff resources that were used on that, does that remain ongoing, that is separate from this and is that still ongoing. and can you make some sort of formal referral to prosecutors offices based on this report today or is that something that they would have to pick up the ball on, on their own? >> the investigation with respect to the book and whether or not public resources were utilized is ongoing and it is separate and apart from this investigation. and with regards to criminal jurisdiction, criminal jurisdiction usually is conveyed upon the office of attorney general. usually we get a request under the executive law and at that point in time our work is concluded and we'll not be engaging in any criminal investigation with respect to the governor of the state of new york. >> our second question haves from josh from washington post, your line is open.
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josh, you have to unmute your line. >> can you me now, i'm sorry? >> yeah, we could hear you, josh. >> hi, attorney general. >> hi, josh. >> there appear to be 11 allegations here, 11 different victims. did you find all 11 victims that came forward to be credible and were you able to find contemporaneous notes or proof about all 11 of the -- >> we found all 11 women to be credible. there was corroboration to varying degrees. probably at the end of being most corroborated charlotte bennett talked to people and texted people contemporaneously,
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some of her texts were practically in realtime regarding conversations with the governor. as well the reports that she made to the chief of staff and the especially council, they're con contemporaneous notes are quite consistent with what she said to the press and what she told us. the state trooper, the touching incidents, the one where he touched her stomach was witnessed by another state trooper who confirmed it to us. the kiss of the governor -- the governor kissed her once and that was confirmed by another state trooper and there were other incidents where she told people at the time. other people that we spoke to did tell people at the time and we confirmed with the people they spoke with or had written documentation either text messages or emails in which they recounted things contemporaneously. so when you see the report, everything is documented, things were very well corroborated. >> next question is from emma
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>> our next question is from emma from bloomberg news. >> hello. thank you. i was wondering, you said your work is done, but there's still a criminal matter in place. what would you -- what will happen from there? >> so i cannot speculate as to what will happen from external agencies and/or external legislative bodies. that is entirely up to them. but as far as the office of attorney general is concerned, our office and our investigation has concluded. we will be issuing this report along with evidence to the general public. >> our next question is from ryan tarnelli from the new york law journal. >> i know there was mention of a report to the albany police department regarding the groping
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incident. can you specify if that was made by the executive chamber, or has the victim herself stepped forward and given a report to the albany police department? >> it's our understanding the report was made by the executive chamber. >> our last question is from rebecca lewis from city and state. rebecca, your line is open. >> reporter: hi, attorney general. i just want to ask with this report out now, you said you're not going to speculate on whether the governor is fit to serve or should run again. what do you want the public to take away from this report? >> that these 11 women were in a hostile and toxic work environment, and that we should believe women. and that what we have an obligation and duty to do is to protect women in their workplace. and what this investigation
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revealed was a disturbing pattern of conduct by the governor of the great state of new york. and those who basically did not put in place any protocols or procedures to protect these young women who believed in public service. i believe women, and i believe these 11 women. i thank you all for being here this morning. >> thank you. >> oh bomb shell report in an independent investigation into the democratic governor of new york, andrew cuomo. the attorney general of new york right there laying out the findings. let me bring in right now former new york city prosecutor paul callan, david chaling is here with me as well as erica hill. paul, what is your reaction to what we just learned? >> kate, it's a shocking report.
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really, devastating for the reputation of governor andrew cuomo. this report was conducted by two very, very experienced lawyers, june kim is a former acting u.s. attorney and the very prestigious district of new york. ann clark is one of the best-known attorneys, civil attorneys handling civil cases of sexual harassment in the united states. and it appears to be a very extensive report. and it actually accuses the governor of activity that could even be criminal. there was some talk there about touching the breast of somebody without their permission and authority. that would be a crime under new york law. the statute of limitations may be gone on that by now. that's going to be an issue on all the charges. but it's a shocker. and a devastating indictment of the governor. >> erika, 179 witnesses were
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interviewed. there are 11 people, i assume all women allegations that are detailed in this report. some of this we knew publicly. some we did not until this has come out. let's keep the focus on these women. tell me what you've learned. >> yeah. that's right. 11 complaints as we learned and nine of them are current or former state employees. and ann clark was asked how credible these complaints were. were there stories corroborated? she specifically noted some of these different incidents that are detailed and laid out the history to paint this picture. one which we're learning more about is the executive assistant number one. ann clark laying out repeated violations with this woman that culminated in her words, numerous repeated occasions. she talked about how executive assistant number one would talk about how the governor hugged her to tight, grabbed her butt
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and the person broke down in march when she said governor cuomo said in a press conference he had never touched anyone inappropriately. she was disturbed by that. also we're learning from a state trooper who was one of the complain nants on the governor's security detail. and the details we were given, again, a short time ago, this state trooper was touched. was touched at one point the governor reportedly running his finger along her neck, moved his hand over to where her firearm was and the trooper saying she felt completely violated. in terms of how credible the 11 complaints are, that question was just asked. ann clark saying they found them all to be credible. that a number of them had other people who could problem rate their accounts. she specifically referenced charlotte bennett. she detailed what she experienced, the conversations she experienced with the governor where she talked about
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how he asked her about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault and asked her about the details of that experience. talked to her about how he was lonely. how he would like a girlfriend. talked specifically about the age of a woman he would feel comfortable being with, saying that was about 22. she was 25 at the time. ann clark just saying it was almost as if she was taking not just notes but in realtime talking and texting about her conversations with the governor. why that made her feel uncomfortable. what she felt was inappropriate in the texts in the conversations. she brought it to the chief of staff, and that what she had told the media really was backed up by all of these other reports. so the detail not only of these allegations, but, again, kate, of the support that they found in terms of that evidence. i mean, that really, too, is what they were pointing to,
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talking about this culture that was created. this toxic work environment for so many women in the executive chamber. >> yeah. and attempts at retaliation when this was raised. that's another part of this. david, just your reaction. of course, i'm going to go back to paul on kind of legal impacts and fallout from this, but this is devastating. what's your reaction? >> it is. i mean, the report itself is obviously damning. this is definitely one of andrew cuomo's lowest days in public life. but i think tish james, the attorney general is kind of put where we're going here next. she said what happens next is up to the governor. everything we know about andrew cuomo is he's not likely to resign his office over this in any way. he's made that pretty clear. he's also indicated he really intends to run for reelection next year. then she said, it's up to the assembly. meaning potential impeachment process underway.
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i don't think we have evidence yet at all from the new york state assembly legislature overall that removing governor cuomo from office is an assured thing here. and she finally said it's going to be up to the voters. and i have a feeling that is where this is going to end up politically is that voters are going to come to a determination if everything they heard today, if everything they read in this report is information that says to them that andrew cuomo does not deserve to be governor anymore, that will become clearer, i would imagine, pretty quickly. it's already a tall task for cuomo to ask the voters to send them back for a fourth term. that's already a tall task. but obviously with this report, that gets tougher. and i would just note, though, this is the -- you listen to this today, kate. this is the kind of stuff not that long ago would have been completely swept under the rug and we would know nothing about this. but for -- >> yeah, david -- >> the bravery of the women. >> 100%.
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i'm sorry to jump in, but what's killing me on this as well is this continued through 2020. this isn't 2010 even. this isn't the olden days. this is a conduct and behavior that was the governor's sexually harassed multiple women they document. at least from 2013 through 2020. >> which is why you have to admire the strength, courage, and bravery of the women to come forward exactly what you're saying. even in 2020, the power dynamic is so stacked against them in that way. >> yeah. >> can i make one point on that, if you don't mind. to that point, from what we heard from charlotte bennett, and this was highlighted by june kim who was talking about some of her text messages and the message that they sent to what both you're saying about the power dynamic which she has talked about repeatedly. in one of her text messages she said she feared what would happen if she rejected the governor so, quote, i disappeared instead. and he specifically referenced
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that today to paint this picture of that power dynamic. >> yeah. guys, thank you very much. paul and david, erica, much more to come on the independent investigation into new york governor andrew cuomo. documenting multiple occasions of sexual harassment that stretched on for years by the governor. john king picks up now. this is cnn breaking news. >> thank you, kate. hello, everyone. welcome to "inside politics". i'm john king. we begin the hour with dramatic breaking news. a wide ranging investigation concludes democratic governor of new york andrew cuomo broke state and federal law by repeatedly sexually harassing women. >> governor andrew cuomo sexually harassed current and former new york state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and maki n


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