Amid sexual misconduct allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer suggested Thursday there’s a double standard for Republican and Democratic politicians facing allegations.
“Is there a different standard for different sides of the aisle? We just had a president who lasted all four years with numerous allegations against him, so far as rape. No one on his own side of the aisle was making observations about whether or not he should stay in office,” Whitmer said during a POLITICO Live event. “So is there a different standard? I guess one could conclude that.”
“But weighing in on that, I don’t know [if that] gets either one of us very far,” Whitmer said to POLITICO White House correspondent Anita Kumar.
The first-term Democrat said Thursday that the allegations against Cuomo should be vetted and taken seriously and that she supports New York Attorney General Tish James’ investigation, but that she wasn’t going to prejudge the investigation.
“If [the allegations] are true, then there should be accountability,” said Whitmer, who also said she is a survivor of sexual assault. “But until that investigation happens, I don’t know that you can make a conclusion.”
Cuomo, a Democrat, is facing mounting pressure, including from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, to resign from his post after six women have come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. Cuomo has denied the allegations against him. A majority of state Assembly members have argued Cuomo’s time should be up, including 36 Democrats, enough to impeach Cuomo.
Cuomo is also facing claims that his administration covered up nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
Former President Donald Trump faced allegations of sexual assault or harassment from more than a dozen women throughout the 2016 election, allegations which Trump denied. In 2019, journalist E. Jean Carroll alleged Trump raped her, but Trump’s GOP supporters in Congress stood by the then-president, who denied the allegation.
Before the 2016 election, Trump also came under fire for a 2005 “Access Hollywood” clip with Billy Bush in which Trump bragged about groping women.