UPDATED 9:44 AM PT – Thursday, February 18, 2021
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) has doubled down on threats he made to a fellow New York lawmaker. According to reports Wednesday, the governor allegedly vowed to “destroy” Democrat assemblyman Ron Kim during a phone call for making critical remarks of his administration’s handling of nursing home deaths.
Kim spoke publicly to multiple news outlets, claiming the governor said he will ruin his career if he didn’t cover up for the ex-staffer who leaked the nursing home death data.
According to Kim, Cuomo also asked if he was an honorable man and said if he didn’t immediately issue a new statement clarifying his remarks then he would face political retribution.
In a stunning response, however, the governor used Wednesday’s press briefing to say he has had a “long and hostile relationship” with Kim that dates back to 2015.
“I never said anything about assemblyman Kim, he attacked me and said that I obstructed justice in a letter today,” Cuomo stated. “I obstructed justice that Kim and several other legislators said…that’s a lie.”
Moments after, Kim released a statement on Twitter commenting “facts matter.” Kim said while Cuomo claims to have worked with the Department of Justice, he was actually traveling for a book tour and doing a “victory lap across prime time cable news” in an effort to distract the American people.
Facts matter. pic.twitter.com/HNqs6bXpAr
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) February 17, 2021
Cuomo’s senior advisor, Richard Azzopardi, also released a statement Wednesday. He claimed Kim flat out lied while noting he was in the room with Cuomo and three others at the time of the phone call.
While many parts are still unclear, the Democrat governor is up against the odds as he up for reelection next year. Meanwhile, Kim has since hired a lawyer for any further questioning by the Cuomo administration.