Cuomo, in Rare Public Appearance, Says: ‘I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

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Mr. Cuomo’s advisers have accused Ms. James, a fellow Democrat, of “political self-interest‎,” saying that she wants to run for governor, and have argued that any employees that worked on the book did so as volunteers. On Monday, however, Mr. Cuomo said his administration did not have any documentation showing that employees opted in to do such volunteer work.

“I didn’t have them sign a volunteer form if that’s what you’re asking,” the governor said. “The question is did they volunteer. And I’m saying yes, they volunteered.”

On the issue of nursing homes, too, Mr. Cuomo characterized such inquiries as politically motivated, citing a 2020 inquiry by the Trump Department of Justice. He did not address a probe by the Eastern District of New York that was initiated after President Biden was sworn in.

Even though most of the state’s Democratic leaders called on Mr. Cuomo to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct — including published reports accusing him of groping the breast of a much-younger female aide at the Executive Mansion — he has refused to consider stepping down, a position he reiterated on Monday. Mr. Cuomo has previously said he has never “touched anybody inappropriately.”

Polls have shown a continued erosion in support for Mr. Cuomo, who has said he wants to seek a fourth term next year. More than half of the registered voters who were polled would rather support a different candidate in 2022, according to a recent Siena College poll, even though a slim majority of residents in heavily Democratic New York still do not want him to immediately resign.

After a record $212 billion state budget was passed in early April, the governor had seemingly begun to find his political rhythm over the last week, appearing at an event alongside the Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who has called on him to resign. (Ms. Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester Democrat, has since reiterated that she wants the governor to resign.)

His public-facing strategy to control his news conferences has also included a steady dose of good news, such as new vaccination sites and loosening of virus-based restrictions.

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