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tv   Craig Melvin Reports  MSNBC  August 3, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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we will hear about that and a whole lot more with our friend, jose. >> good tuesday morning. i am in for craig melvin. it's 8:00 a.m. in the west, and 11:00 a.m. in the east. just minutes ago, new york mayor, bill de blasio, announced, quote, the key to new york city, proof of vaccination will be required to enter restaurants, gyms and other indoor destinations in new york city. >> if you want to participate in our society fully, you have to get vaccinated. it's time. >> that comes as texas and florida move away from requirements despite accounting for one-third of all new covid
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cases nationwide last week. today for the second day in a row, florida shattered its hospitalization record. we're also keeping close tabs on the white house where immigration is top of mind. president biden is set to meet with leaders on a host of issues. and letitia james is expected to make a major announcement. as soon as she takes that podium we will bring it to you live. first, nbc's kerry sanders in florida, and morgan chesky in baton rouge, florida, and then from florida international university, dr. eileen marty.
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if i have to go to a live press conference for a major announcement, we will do that and i don't want to interrupt you. i want to start with you, dr. marty. we just heard from bill de blasio on the new vaccine requirement to enter restaurants and other entertainment venue, and very likely other large cities will follow suit. what is your reaction to the requirement? >> i am so proud of him. that's exactly what a leader should be doing right now. everything in their power that is reasonable and that is going to reduce transmissions. look what is happening in the united states. we're accounting for over 18% of the worldwide cases per day, and worldwide we're seeing upwards of 600,000 cases a day of this horrific, horrific virus. in florida we are now 1 out of every 4 cases in the united states, and we lead the nation
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in hospitalized children. children! >> doctor, why is this happening? the reason i ask you that is last year when there were no vaccines, we had in south florida, for example, in june and july of last year, the peak of hospitalizations for covid patients, now that there are vaccines why is it we are seeing an increase, a record number? what is it? >> remember how the virus spreads and what tools we have in our arsenal to reduce that transmission. we have nonpharmaceutical methods such as distance, hygiene and the use of masks, and proper ventilation, preferably being outdoors. those are the things that reduce risk non -pharmaceutical.
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so if you implement the tools and you layer your tools you will not have these massive increases, but this is -- this issue is also coupled with the reality that there is now a far more aggressive variant of the sars 2 virus, specifically the delta variant, which is more than twice as infectious as the alpha variant, which is the one that we originally recognized in the uk, which was already twice as infectious as the one that originated the ancestral strain, if you will, we first identified in wuhan. if you look at that and recognize that here is something that could overwhelm our infections because you are able to release a lot more viral particles and therefore contaminate the area a lot better if you are infected, and
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moreover as a recipient, you don't need as many viral particles to get in to you to get that infected, and so somewhere between 5 and 10 baseline reproductive rate, closer to 8 is the average we are seeing, and that's more contagious, actually, than what we know from chickenpox. we have the extremely aggressive virus and people not utilizing the available public health methods when they are non pharmaceutical or pharmaceutical. if you want to reduce the risk, do the right thing and get the vaccine, and that will keep you out of the hospital and from dying from covid, and in the appropriate settings you should be masking up. >> so kerry sanders, the center
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where you are at was supposed to be a center for cancer. >> reporter: if you look at this area, you can see, it's set up -- it was going to be a surgical center, but because of the spike in the number of covid cases across the state, they are pivoting because they know there are so many patients coming in and more expected. here in this health system the statistics are alarming because we are seeing younger people who are indeed coming to the hospital with coronavirus. 41% of the covid patients in the memorial health system are between the ages of 35 and 55, and greater than 92% of them were unvaccinated. the general sense is that, yes, if you get vaccinated you can still have a breakthrough case,
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but it would not be to the severity that would likely wind you up in a situation like this. there's a situation they are seeing on an hourly basis, and this is what the doctor had to say. >> in terms of the trajectory and rate of growth, the case count is climbing at an absolutely steep curve, much like the one we saw last july in 2020. if not as steep, then even more so. >> in other parts of the country, we do know when the pandemic first started that the default was to set up tents outside so the overflow of patients could wind up in the tents. not only is it hot in florida, but they can't put the tents up because we are in hurricane season, and jose i know you understand hurricane season better than anybody, and you
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could put tents up and then have a hurricane on the horizon and having to move patients and take the tents down, so there's a potential of events here as we see the spike in the number of patients, quite frankly, exceeding anything we have seen in the state since this pandemic began. >> kerry, thank you. i want to bring in nbc's kelly o'donnell at the white house. what do we expect the president to say? >> in many ways the president will focus on the positive facts he can try and harness to encourage more vaccinations, for example, talking about how the u.s. has reached a point where it has sent abroad 100 million doses of vaccine. that is a part of the global piece of trying to get more vaccinations to stop variants, mutations and so forth. he'll also talk about the jump in vaccinations happening in some of the key states where the hot spots are certainly inflamed
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right now. places like louisiana and mississippi, where there has been a big increase percentage wise in the number of vaccinations. one of the challenges with that is a vaccination today takes a few weeks before that person is fully protected against the virus. it will help with the picture down the line -- good morning. i'm joined here today by anne clark and june kim, the two lead attorneys that were designated as special deputies to the attorney general's office to announce the findings of their findings in the sexual allegations against governor cuomo. i will make brief statements and then turn it over to those two
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who will delve into the investigation findings. >> the investigation has concluded that governor cuomo sexually harassed several woman and in doing so violated federal and state law. specifically the investigation found that governor andrew cuomo sexually harassed concern the and former state employees by engaging in unwelcomed touching and making 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, including contemporaneous notes and communications. this evidence 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 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 law 368 regarding these allegations, and it permits the new york attorney's general office with approval of the governor or when directed by the governor to enquire 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, anne clark and june kim were officially deputized as special deputies. mrs. clark and mr. kim and their
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respective firms were chosen to lead the investigation because of their decades of work at the highest levels, their deep expertise on matters in question, and their careers fighting to uphold the rule of law. anne clark is a partner at raskin & clark p.c. and during her more than 30-year career, ms. clark has represented clients in a variety of employment and sexual harassment and other discrimination cases in government and private. june kim is a partner the clearly, gottlieb and hamilton
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l.l.p. for more than two decades he worked at the highest levels of government and in private practice. from march of 2017 to 2018, he act 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 becoming acting united states attorney, he served in various leadership positions in the office, including deputy united states attorney, chief of the criminal division and chief counsel to the united states attorney. ms. clark and mr. kim are experienced, credible and deeply respected professionals. together they ensure that this investigation was both independent and thorough.
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over the course of the 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, e-mails, 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 state and federal laws. he sexually harassed multiple
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women, many of whom were young women by engaging in unwanted 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 created a hostile work environment where staffers did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints because of the fear. 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 can 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 that came forward. i am inspired by all the brave women that came forward, but more importantly i believe them, and i thank them for their bravery. i thank the independent investigators for their professionalism despite the attacks, and for their determination that brought us to the truth.
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and now we will hear from june kim and anne clark, who will walk us through their report and their findings. >> thank you, attorney general james. good morning. my name is joon kim and along with my colleagues, anne clark, 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. they are set forth in a detailed
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report issued today. as set forth in the report we find that the governor, on numerous occasions, engaged in conduct that constitute unlawful sex-based harassment. specifically we find that the governor sexually harassed a number of current and former new york state employees. he did so among other things, by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, and also repeatedly making comments of a sexualized or gender based nature. our investigation revealed these were not isolated incidents. they were part of a pattern. the governor's pattern of sexually harassing behavior was
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not limited to members of his 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 affiliated entity. the complainants interacted with the governor under 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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most 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. all of them found it disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate. now we find it was unlawful sex-based harassment. our investigation found his chamber responded to the sexual harassment in ways that violated their own policies, and included retaliation with respect to one of the complainants. and our investigation concluded the executive chamber's culture
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was rife with intimidation on one hand, and normalizing the conditions that allowed sexual harassment and retaliation to occur and persist. the attorney has said we reached the findings and conclusions after a thorough and independent investigation. we were allowed to and did follow the facts without fear, without favor. as you will see in the report, our findings are supported by extensive evidence. that includes interviews and testimony from 179 witnesses, and reviews of tens of thousands of documents. i will now turn it over to my colleague, anne clark, to walk through some of the specifics related to the sexual harassment, the policy violations and 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 intimate body parts. he engaged this this conduct with state employees, including those who did not work in the executive chamber as well as nonemployees. one current employee who we identify as executive assistant number one endured repeated physical violation. 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 his 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 would 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 march 3rd, 2021, in his press conference claim he never touched anybody inappropriately, and she broke down to her colleagues and they were the ones that reported the actions. in an elevator while standing behind the trooper, he ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said, hey, you. another time she was standing holding the door open for the
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governor. as he passed he took his open hand and ran it across her stomach from her belly button to the hip where she keeps her gun. she was violated to have the governor touch her, as she put it, between her chest to her privates. at one event in september 2019, the governor grabbed this 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 wide pattern of unwanted hugs and kisses and touching them in ways that made them
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uncomfortable. conduct that is not just old-fashioned, affectionut behavior. for example, the governor crossed the line many times when speaking with charlotte bennett, a executive assistant, particularly in the spring of 2020. when she confided in the governor that she was sexually assaulted in college, he asked her about the assault, and he said he could date girls as young as 22 knowing she was 25. he asked if she ever had been with older men. he told her he was lonely and
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needed to be touched. he told her that she looked like daisy duke. he suggested she get a tattoo she was contemplating on her butt, and asked if she had any piercings on anywhere other than her ears. she was upset, confused and shaking. another example is the governor's comments to the state trooper, the same trooper he touched on the stomach and back. after the governor had become single he asked the trooper how old she was, and when she responded she was in her late 20s he said that was too old for him. he asked her how much of an age difference to have with the public would accept it. she tried to deflect the
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conversation by asking the governor what he was looking for in a girlfriend. he responded he was looking for somebody that 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 among other things, your sex drive goes down. as detailed in the report, employees counted a number of conversations, such as the governor asking executive number one whether she would cheat on her husband. saying to her, if you were single, the things i would do to you. and telling her she looked great for her age, which was in her 30s, and a mother. comparing lindsay boylan to a more attractive version of one of his ex-girlfriends and actresses. women also described to us the governor seeking them out and stare intently at them and look
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them up and down or gaze at their chest or butt. in some, the governor routinely interacted with women that made them feel concomfortable. in august of 2019, the governor passed a law that in new york a woman need only show that a woman was treated less well in part was of her gender. he clearly meets and far exceeds this standard. and the chamber failed to follow their own procedures, and this was exemplified by the handling
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of charlotte bennett's complaint. in june of 2020, ms. bennett told the staff of the conversations of a sexual nature that were so uncomfortable she no longer wanted to interact with the governor, and she was transferred within days. two weeks later the chief of staff and a special counsel spoke with mrs. bennett that detailed the actions of the governor that went back to 2019. the special staff and counsel both found her to be creditable. they decided they did not need to report this to the governor's office of employer relations or conduct any meaningful investigation. they simply moved ms. bennett and instituted a policy of not having a junior staffer be alone with the governor, and even that, they said, was to protect
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the governor. that response we find was a violation of the executive chamber's harassment policy that requires that all possible harassment be reported and investigated. six months later in december of 2020, when lindsay boylan tweeted she had been harassed by the governor, the chamber failed to report the issue, and although the advisers and others new about the allegations bennett had made previously, and nobody treated lindsay boylen's allegations credible but as a threat to the governor.
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within hours of the december 13th 2020 tweet alleging sexual harassment key members of the governor's enter circle released memos, and they were about interaction between ms. boylen and an assistant, and they started sending 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 ms. boylan for alleged misconduct at work and alleged misconduct with men other than the governor, and that she was funded by far right republicans and supporters of donald trump. although the letter was never published it was read to those outside the executive chamber either to get their advice or sign their names to it and share
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it with at least one member of the press. the governor was arguing for the release of that letter. he was finally convinced to abandon it by a number of people that thought it was a bad idea in part because of what was in the letter could not be substantiated and shaming a victim was not a good strategy. under the standard the confidential release of internal records to the press and the letter disparaging ms. boylen violated it's own rules. >> the culture within the
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executive chamber contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassing conduct of the governor to occur and persist. the culture also, through violations of their own policies and through unlawful retaliation. what was the culture? words that witnesses have used repeatedly to describe it include, toxic, hostile, abusive. others use words like, fear, intimidation, bullying, vindictive. as one senior staffer stated bluntly, as the sexual harassment allegations became public in march of this year in text exchanges with others in the administration, i quote,
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hopefully when this is all done, people will realize the culture, even outside of the sexual harassment stuff, is not something you can get away with. you can't berate and terrify people 24/7. closed quote. it's a culture where you could not say no to the governor, and if you upset him, him or his senior staff, you will be written off, casts aside, or worse. but at the same time the witnesses described a culture that normalized and overlooked 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 do not apply. you should just view it as a compliment if the governor finds you aesthetically pleasing enough. closed quote. the coexistence in the executive chamber, the executive chamber's culture of fear and flirtation, intimidation and intimacy, abuse and affection created 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 culture of the
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place. on the one hand he makes all 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 ms. clark mentioned, who was transferred after she reported inappropriate comments to senior staff, and in text messages, dehumanizing,
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traumatizing. 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's a quote from a text that ms. bennett wrote. the culture, this culture made it all the more difficult if not impossible for complainants to report the harassment for which they were suffering, particularly when the harasser was the governor of the state of new york. one courageous woman after another stepped forward, stepped forward to say enough is enough.
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they came forward in our investigation to tell us about their experiences, the harassment they suffered at the hands of the governor. in our report, we 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
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directed by dulaney kempnor. >> say your name and out let. >> will you be making any recommendations to prosecutors so he will face state or federal charges? >> i work is concluded and the document is now public, and the matter is civil in nature, and is not -- it does not have any criminal consequences. it's my understanding -- you want to? >> i will state that it's our understanding that for the young woman who breasts was groped, the albany police department already has a report about that. as for anything else, as the attorney general stated, all the information is fully documented in the report and any prosecutors or police departments can look at it and determine if they want to take further action.
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>> reporter: [ inaudible ] now that the report has been concluded, will your office determine whether or not these are impeachable offenses and if so what is the coordination -- >> there's no coordination for the assembly. the document will be districted to the members of the assembly as well as leadership. >> reporter: new york post. can the governor be sued in any way? is there a statute of limitations or [ inaudible ]? >> there's no penalty specifically tied to this report. some of the women can decide themselves if they want to bring a civil action. the statute of limitations is generally three years under one statute in a federal law, and
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for hostile work environments, as long as one act occurs within the statute of limitations, one can go back to cover the entire complaint. >> what kind of violations could be -- >> it's taking into account in determining liability for sexual harassment. >> ms. james, do you think the governor, given the devastating nature of this report, and i understand what you say about it's up to the local prosecutors to have forward on this, and do you think this would be wrapped up well if he resigned immediately? >> that decision is up to the governor of the state of new york. the report speaks for itself. right now i think we should only be focused on the courageous and bravery of the women that came forward and all of us should be
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focused on keeping women safe and believing women and allowing them to speak their truth, and that's exactly what this document does. >> wnbc, you mentioned in your opening remarks today defending the credentials of your investigators today. were you personally bothered by the governor's own remarks in the past week or so that if you just google their backgrounds and draw your own conclusion that this is a politically motivated investigation? >> there were attempts to undermine and 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 bravery and courage of these 11 women and on the others that came forward. these allegations were substantiated. they were corroborated. the team before you, ms. clark and mr. kim, were professionals
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widely respected across this state and nation, and i will respect and support and defend their work. i support these women. >> you mentioned there was a lot of corroboration. did cuomo admit or deny what was said here? >> there was a combination. there are some incidents he admitted to but had a different interpretation of, and there were other things he denied or said he didn't recall. >> could you speak a little more about that? could you speak more about what that 11-hour conversation was like? >> i can't recount all of it, but he remembered he asked ms. bennett if she had been with
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older men, and he denied touching the state trooper although he said he could have kissed her at an event, and he said executive assistant number one, he did hug her repeatedly but claims she was the one that initiated the hugs. it was a mixture of admitting certain things and putting a different spin on them and denying others. >> cnn. what are the next steps here? this report, a lot of the devastating information is in it, and you are not referring it for criminal charges so what are the next steps that you would like to see, perhaps, of the assembly take or somebody else take to have some other kind of punishment or something else here, because right now it just seems like you have this report and it's out there? >> we were tasked with the responsibility of engaging in an investigation, and we concluded
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our investigation, and our work is done. so as it relates to next steps, that is entirely up to the governor 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 could run for re-election? >> that's a political question. the work of the office of attorney general is done. >> we will take a few more questions here. >> dana, "new york times." if a person running a workplace was running for governor, would you -- >> i don't engage in speculation, dana. the report speaks for itself. they substantiated and corroborated the allegations and issued findings and the fact is the governor violated state and federal laws.
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>> last question. nbc news. >> are you frustrated that you can't move criminally on these charges, numerous charges, that you and the investigators quote that they violate state and federal law. >> we were tasked by the governor to issue a report, and we issued a report. all throughout the process we put her heads down and we have done our work, and at this point we are going to allow the chips to fall where they may. >> we will go virtual now. >> thank you, everybody. if you have a question, please kick the raise hand button. if you have a question, please click the raise hand button. john, your mic is open. >> hi, attorney general. it's tough to hear some of the questions, so some of these
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might be repeats here. the investigation into the governor's book deal as well as the staff resources that were used on that, does that remain ongoing? is that separate from this? is that still ongoing? also, can you make some sort of referral to the prosecutor's office based on the report today or is that something they have to pick up the ball on, on their own? >> the investigation with respect to the book and whether or not public resources were used is ongoing and separate from this investigation. criminal jurisdiction is usually conveyed upon the office of attorney general. usually we get our request under the executive law and at this point in time our work is concluded and we will not be engaging in any criminal investigation with respect to the conduct of the governor of the state of new york.
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>> our second question is from josh dossy from the "new york post." josh, your mic is open. josh, you have to unmute your line. >> can you hear me now? >> yeah, we can hear you, josh. >> hi, attorney general. >> hi, josh. >> there appears to be 11 allegations here, 11 different victims. did you find all 11 of the victims that came forward to be credible? were you able to find contemporaneous notes or proof about all 11 of the victims? >> we found all 11 women to be credible. there was corroboration to varying degrees, probably at the end of be the most corroborated, charlotte bennett talked to people and texted people
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contemporaneously, and some of her texts were in real time regarding conversations with the governor, as well as reports she made to the chief of staff and counsel, and their notes are 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 that confirmed it to us. the governor kissed her once, and that was confirmed to us by another state trooper and there were incidents where she told people at the time. other people we spoke to did tell people at the time, and we confirmed with the people they spoke with and had written documentations, e-mails or texts, so things, when you see the report everything is documented and things were very well corroborated. >> the next question is from
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emma kinry from bloomberg news. emma, your line is open. >> hello. thank you. i was wondering, you said your work is done and there was still a criminal matter in place. 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 brian tarnelli from the new york law journal. >> yes, can you hear me okay? >> yes. >> i know that there was mention of a report to albany police
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department regarding the groping 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 that the report was made by the executive chamber. >> our last question is from rebecca lewis from city and state. rebecca, your line is open. >> hi, attorney general. >> hi. >> i just wanted to ask with this report out now you said that you're not going to speculate on whether the governor should serve or run again. what do you want the public to take from this report? >> these 11 people were in a hostile and toxic work environment and we should believe women and what we have an obligation ask duty to do is to protect women in their workplace, and what this
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investigation 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. >> and we were just listening to new york attorney general letitia james and her investigative team making this major announcement into this inquiry governor andrew cuomo interviewing 179 witnesses saying that the 11 women who came forward with such strength
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and with such valor were believed and believable, stating governor cuomo harassed multiple women violating state and federal laws. this is a major, major announcement. governor cuomo is accused of misconduct ranging from inappropriate conducts to unwanted kissing and touching. james says cuomo sexually harassed multiple women. before this announcement cuomo has apologized for making anyone feel uncomfortable, but denied any wrongdoing and nbc investigative correspondent tom winter was listening along with us and lisa green, managing director at sar, and danny zavalos and daniel alonso, former assistant d.a. for manhattan, former federal prosecutor and an nbc news legal analyst. thank you for being with me. let me start with you. what were your top takeaways from this extraordinary statement today? >> well, i think a couple of
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different things. one, according to the report there were 70 subpoenas issued in this investigation, 74,000 documents were reviewed and 179 interviews and as you said, 41 of those interviews were under oath and investigators responded to 280 tips. the report, 165 pages in length clearly details the substance the investigation took and it includes a legal foundation for their arguments that the governor's office retaliated. not only does it say we believe there was retaliation against at least one of the 11 women who they found corroborating information for and the incredible claims of sexual harassment, but they also lay out the legal basis that they can come to some of their conclusions. so that's a significant portion of this report, as well. it has not been previously known, not to at least to this reporter that a new york state trooper, one involved in the governor's protective detail was one of the women who were harassed here. as you heard ann clark say that the allegations that she raised
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were corroborated by other state troopers. the report goes into significant detail here about what they say they found when it came to the governor's -- in the governor's chambers and their conduct and environment, they described it as a toxic work environment. on top of that there appeared to be numerous accounts from inside the governor's chamber that detail how they knew that these efforts to retaliate or rebutt claims from at least one of the women, if not multiple women were wrong, and that there was a real fear here that the governor, if you made a claim against him is someone who would retaliate against you. so that's a key finding from this report. it's been just 17 days since the governor was interviewed, a nearly 12-hour interview june kim and ann clark. the governor, for his part according to the report that denied some of the allegations and says he couldn't recall in other specific circumstances. his spokesperson has been very aggressive to reporters and on
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twitter rebutting some of these claims over the past several weeks in noting and trying to point out that this investigation came from the attorney general who they say, although she has never stated publicly is going to run for governor herself, and on top of that, raised allegations of bias by one of the investigators, former acting u.s. attorney june kim. it would be malpractice of this report to point out that this investigation was authorized not by attorney general letitia james, but in fact, by the governor's office himself and it was authorized by beth garvey, his former senior counsel and on top of that the public report of this was something that the governor's office asked for. on top of that the topic about june kim's bias, well, the investigation into one of governor cuomo's top deputies was not brought by june kim, and while kim was believed to have worked on that investigation, he was not in office when mr. prococo who was the person
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charged in that instance was found guilty by a jury. so just a little bit of context there as we examine some of the claims made by cuomo in rebutting some of this. up until today, we have yet to hear from the governor following this press conference and a report which i think can best be described as withering about his behavior and the behavior of those in his office. >> and lisa, we just heard tis investigative team lay out the details for multiple women. the attorney general team found this as a sex-based harassment creating a toxic environment. what does this mean legally for governor cuomo? >> interestingly, letitia james, really bold in her lane today and stopped short of pushing the matter further, making the point that her investigation was done. criminal charges could be brought not by the attorney general's office and when you intersect the politics and the
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law i wonder if that will ever happen unless one of the women come forward, but make no mistake this was extraordinarily damning indictment of an office which in 2019 had issued its own stronger harassment protections for employees. imagine the twilight zone these women are working in and they're being harassed by the governor and when they get compensation for what's happening they hit a brick wall. >> and then, you know, according to this report, massive retaliation. danny, we are waiting to hear a response from the governor. he did talk about this inquiry last monday. here's what he said. >> i'm very eager to get the facts to the people of this state, and i think when they hear the actual facts of what happened, and how the situation has been handled, i think they're going to be shocked. shocked.
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>> well, shocked. shocked, i think, in that sense the governor was correct. the accusations, danny, so specific and the attorney general's report says there were 11 women -- 11 women who were harassed including current and former state employees, one of whom is a state trooper. what's the standard for proving sexual harassment? >> in a case like this, it has to be severe and pervasive to the extent that it creates a change in the workplace environment, and that is the standard -- it's not easy to prove sexual harassment claims. that's what makes this so amazing is that there's so much evidence against the governor because not just any event at work that is offensive, is necessarily a violation of title 7. it has to be either severe or pervasive enough to change the conditions of work, and the other thing is governor cuomo,
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with that sound that we just heard, he had to be -- he had to expect there was something coming out after sitting with 11 hours with investigators and admitting some of the conduct at least according to attorney general james. danny zavalos and daniel alonso who we will be speaking with shortly. i want to thank you for being with me this hour. that wraps up for msnbc. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. this is "andrea mitchell reports." the breaking news is out of new york where new york state attorney general letitia james has delivered a withering report on alleged sexual harassment by governor andrew cuomo. >> the independent investigation has concluded that governor andrew cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so


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