The New York AG's report concluded that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and that his little brother, CNN's Chris Cuomo, was one of those who helped advise him in dealing with the allegations.
But that wasn't the only thing they found. They also discovered that two women who helped to found “Time's Up,” the high profile group created during the #MeToo movement to highlight sexual harassment, had also been involved in advising Cuomo on a letter in response to the sexual harassment allegations.
In her 165-page report, James said Cuomo and a group of advisers drafted a letter in December 2020 in response to allegations by the governor's first accuser, former aide Lindsey Boylan, who said he sexually harassed her and created a toxic work environment.
“The letter denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan's allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated (including with theories about connections with supporters of President Trump and a politician with an alleged interest in running for Governor),” James said in her report.
Cuomo wrote the letter and then his top aide Melissa DeRosa asked attorney Roberta Kaplan, who co-founded Time's Up, for her advice on it.
“According to Ms. DeRosa, Ms. Kaplan read the letter to the head of the advocacy group Times Up [Tchen], and both of them allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan's interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine,” James said in her report.
“Ms. DeRosa reported back to the Governor that Ms. Kaplan and the head of Times Up thought the letter was okay with some changes, as did [Cuomo ally Steve] Cohen, but everyone else thought it was a bad idea.”
Ultimately, they didn't put out the letter because Cuomo's team wouldn't go along with it — apparently, some described it as retaliatory and victim-shaming.
The Time's Up folks are spinning just as fast as they can, now that this bombshell has come out. A spokesperson issued a statement
“Before any allegations were made against Governor Cuomo, in 2019, Time's Up worked with his administration to pass the Time's Up/NY Safety Agenda. In December 2020, Tina was asked to give her perspective on a public response to Ms. Boylan's allegations,” a spokesperson said.
“Although Tina made no recommendations as to what he should do, she shared the stance Time's Up has always taken in these matters,” the spokesperson continued. “She was clear that any response coming from the Governor's office addressing the allegations would be insufficient and unacceptable if it did not acknowledge the experiences of the women who came forward, and that it should in no way shame or discredit the women.”
Sorry, that doesn't fly. At what point do you realize how problematic this is? Not just because Cuomo is scum, but because this is in direct conflict with the alleged mission of your organization? And doesn't it say a lot that they both were apparently good with the letter with a couple of changes, when some of Cuomo's aides were still having issues with it? When they were contacted, they should have immediately said no, we can't even touch that. But the magical “D” surfaces again. If they had been contacted by a Republican, would they have gotten involved?
Just a reminder of who Tina Tchen is — former Assistant to President Barack Obama and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. Her name also surfaced as an intermediary in the Jussie Smollett matter. As we previously reported, there was a woman who went to them for help in regard to a claim against Joe Biden and she was allegedly turned down.
Oh, and here's Tchen now getting all upset with Cuomo at an event, not mentioning the advice that the two gave to Cuomo.
Tchen conveniently left out that she was asked for and provided advice on a Cuomo op-ed that was intended to smear accuser Lindsey Boylan. Tchen's Time's Up co-founder Roberta Kaplan also gave advice on the op-ed. https://t.co/P56VspToep
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) August 4, 2021