Maggie Haberman Shocked By Gov. Cuomo’s Apology: Hearing Him Say He’s Sorry for Anything is ‘Breathtaking,’ He Knows He’s in ‘Real Trouble’


One longtime observer of New York politics was taken aback by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) apology for actions he says may have been “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”

Appearing on CNN’s New Day Monday, New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman weighed in on the governor’s apology after a second former aide, Charlotte Bennett, came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment. Haberman expressed astonishment over the governor’s mea culpa.

“Hearing Andrew Cuomo apologize for anything is breathtaking,” Haberman said. “I have covered him on-and-off for 20 years, and I can’t remember another time when he has done that. I think it speaks to the degree to which he knows he is in real trouble.”

Haberman spelled out Cuomo’s motivations — arguing that he wanted to avoid having New York attorney general Letitia James conduct an independent probe. The governor, though, relented on Sunday.

“I think he was trying to avoid having Tish James, the New York attorney general, end up with an independent probe into what has happened. I think he resisted that repeatedly. I think ultimately, he had to throw up his hands and give in to it yesterday. We saw multiple statements from his office come out about such a probe. And eventually, he appeared to just give in.”

The Times correspondent asserted that Cuomo is “very concerned” about the investigation because it might go in directions he “can’t control.” That said, Haberman noted that Cuomo has weathered other controversies in the past,
and she still deems it unlikely that the governor — if the investigation does not yield much more new information — will step down.

“He has held up even with this nursing home issue a couple of weeks ago,” Haberman said. “And there have been other issues in the past … where it has seemed as if he is real political peril and nothing has happened. So I don’t think Democrats want to get ahead of their skis and be the people that call for him to resign — given the likelihood that’s not something that’s going to happen. And based on the existing fact set, I don’t think they feel like they can do that.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo