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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

  • Ruch alleged Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back, called her "aggressive" for removing it and then asked "can I kiss you?" She told the Times she was "confused and shocked and embarrassed" by the alleged incident.
  • "A friend captured the exchange in a series of photographs taken on Ms. Ruch’s cellphone," the Times noted.
  • Earlier Monday, N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James received a formal referral letter from Cuomo's office to begin an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against him by two of his former aides — claims the governor denies.

What they're saying: Rice shared the NYT's interview with Ruch on Twitter, with the comment: "The time has come. The Governor must resign."

  • Cuomo's office didn't immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on the Ruch's allegation.
  • The governor said before the third allegation emerged that he "never inappropriately touched anybody," but he acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation."

Go deeper

New York AG to begin investigation into sexual harassment claims against Cuomo

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFPvia Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James received a formal referral letter on Monday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to begin an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against the governor by two of his former aides.

Why it matters: The investigation will provide independent oversight after a lengthy back-and-forth between the offices on how the probe would operate. Findings from the review will be made public after the investigation is complete.

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he "never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Feb 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.