NEW YORK - In response to the controversies surrounding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said on Monday the states' "extremely effective" relationship has "helped New Jerseyans, period." But he called the allegations made against his fellow Democrat "deeply concerning and deeply troubling."
"It appears as though they're going to have an independent investigation — that, to me, seems what they should be doing," Murphy said at the end of the Q&A portion of his daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
Two former aides have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in the form of questions about their sex lives. One former aide said the governor kissed her on the mouth.
Murphy, who has called Cuomo a "friend" and a "partner" in the fight against COVID-19, said he supports listening to people who make such allegations.
"Anybody who has any concern, expresses a concern deserves to be heard and it deserves to be completely and thoroughly investigated," Murphy said.
Cuomo on Sunday issued a measured statement saying that he "never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody" but acknowledged that he sometimes is "being playful" and "teases" people in a "good natured way."
"I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended," Cuomo said in the statement. "I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that."
Cuomo's office has sent a letter to the state's attorney general authorizing her to appoint an independent investigator to look into the allegations.
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