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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the grounds of the Executive Mansion in Albany yesterday. Photo: Angus Mordant/Reuters

An occasional adviser who has known Andrew Cuomo for nearly 40 years tells me that the New York governor — after a career of playing hardball, including over-the-line threats — has "no net of good will" to catch him.

The state of play: After a cascade of harassment accusations, his resignation is being demanded by both of the state's U.S. senators (Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand), almost the whole 29-member congressional delegation, and a majority of Democrats in the state legislature.

Two stories on Friday quoted a chorus of former aides about the toxic workplace he created and condoned — where young women were constant targets of unwanted attention and touching.

In New York Magazine, Rebecca Traister writes: "In speaking with 30 women, ... almost all who worked for him commented on the extreme pressure applied by both the governor and his top female aides to dress well and expensively; some were told explicitly by senior staff that they had to wear heels whenever he was around."

  • "The sheer amount of interpersonal drama, anxiety, and rancor that former Cuomo staffers described was wholly exhausting, like something from 'The Devil Wears Prada.'"
  • "Multiple people told me that they began therapy and antidepressants for the first time in their lives while working for Cuomo."

More than 35 current and former Cuomo employees described his office to the N.Y. Times as "chaotic, unprofessional and toxic, especially for young women."

  • "Twelve young women said they felt pressured to wear makeup, dresses and heels, because, it was rumored, that was what the governor liked."
  • "Several recalled having to cut short vacations or miss their children’s birthday parties for seemingly minor tasks such as transcribing television interviews with local politicians in other states whom Mr. Cuomo feared could someday become political rivals."
Photo: New York Magazine

Between the lines: I asked someone who was personally threatened by Cuomo how all this could have stayed secret.

  • "It was a very insular world," the source explained. "If you weren't part of it, you didn't have much visibility into it — and if you were in it, you kept its secrets."

Go deeper: How Cuomo investigation, impeachment could play out.

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Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.