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Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks his dog, Captain, at the Executive Mansion in Albany yesterday. Photo: Hans Pennink/AP

A lawyer for Cuomo appeared to dig him deeper yesterday as she previewed his sexual harassment defense, arguing that running his hands over a state trooper on the job wasn't necessarily criminal — or even unacceptable.

Why it matters: The defense looks unlikely to persuade New York legislators who are "on the brink" of impeaching Cuomo, as The New Yorker puts it.

The lawyer, Rita Glavin, told CNN's Pamela Brown during a live, 51-minute interview that Cuomo has "talked about how he does slip at times. He's not perfect."

  • When Brown pressed the lawyer on what she meant by "slip," Glavin replied: "Oh, he said it in his video statements ... He will say 'darling,' he will say 'sweetheart,' he does ask people questions about their personal lives. He didn't think that that was improper."

The New York state attorney general's report says there's a trooper on Cuomo's protective detail who he "harassed ... on a number of occasions."

  • "The governor is going to address this very, very soon," Glavin said. "He wants to personally address that."
  • "I can tell you what I’ve read with respect to the state trooper is not criminal conduct," she added.

The anchor, paraphrasing the report, pressed Glavin on the description "that he allegedly touched her down her back, and touched her on the stomach, and between her … belly button and her private parts — that’s not illegal conduct?"

  • Glavin jumped in: "That's not criminal conduct as far as I know."
  • Brown further pressed, asking, "So if he did that, is that acceptable behavior?"
  • "Depends on what the context of the circumstances were," the lawyer replied
  • "[T]he Governor has tremendous respect for her, believes she has been an excellent member of her detail. ... He feels very, very badly about that — that I do know, and I know he's going to address this." 

What's new: An aide who accused Cuomo of groping her spoke publicly for the first time, told "CBS This Morning and the Albany Times Union that "the governor needs to be held accountable."

  • "What he did to me was a crime," said Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant to Cuomo in a "CBS This Morning" interview set to air in full on Monday.

Go deeper

New York AG Letitia James announces bid for governor

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaking in New York City in August 2021. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday she will run for governor in 2022.

Why it matters: James has been seen by Democratic strategists, operatives and progressives as a potentially strong candidate for governor given her heightened national profile from lawsuits against former President Trump, Facebook, Google and the National Rifle Association, as well as her office's investigation into sexual harassment accusations against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

Driving the news: The Biden administration has faced rising inflation rates over recent months, which it has labeled as "transitory."

Hope King, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Investors reset their compass

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The endpoints of a stimulus-fueled market are being defined.

Why it matters: Conditions that drove excess pricing in riskier assets are steadily being removed, and big swings in the market like those seen today are inevitable as investors try to adjust to the new landscape.

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