Asked what his message is to New Yorkers, Andrew Cuomo said he was “embarrassed” that his behavior had such a negative impact on one of his aides. He did not appear to address the allegations from two other women.
The governor said he was not caveating his apology in any way. “There’s no ‘buts.’ I’m sorry,” Cuomo said.
But the governor did attempt to qualify his apology multiple times by emphasizing he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone through his actions.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he has learned from the experience of having multiple women accuse him of sexual misconduct.
“I’m sorry,” Cuomo said. “I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone. I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Cuomo acknowledged that his intentions did not matter when his behavior had such a negative impact on the women affected by it. And yet, the governor continued to emphasize that he did not intend to hurt or offend anyone.
“If they were offended by it, it was wrong,” Cuomo said. “And if they were offended by it, I apologize.”
Cuomo says he will ‘fully cooperate’ with attorney general’s investigation
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference moments ago that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way,” Cuomo said.
The Democratic went on to apologize for engaging in behavior that made anyone feel uncomfortable.
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said. “It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”
But Cuomo went on to say, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
The governor asked the people of New York to wait for the attorney general’s investigation to conclude before reaching any conclusions about him.
“I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts please before forming an opinion,” Cuomo said. “I will fully cooperate with it, and then you will have the facts.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked when Joe Biden will start naming his nominees for key ambassadorships.
“This is a popular question, including from some people who want to be ambassadors, which won’t surprise you,” Psaki told reporters.
The press secretary noted past administrations have often nominated ambassadors in March, but she was not sure whether Biden would follow that timeline, given his current focus on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about whether Joe Biden is breaking his promise to millions of Americans who will no longer receive stimulus payments if the faster phaseout is authorized.
Psaki emphasized Biden was following through on delivering direct relief to American families, while sidestepping the fact that fewer families would now be receiving checks.
Asked whether there might be another round of direct payments in the future, Psaki said, “I can’t predict for you there will never be stimulus checks in the future.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked why the Biden administration seems to be prioritizing teachers over other frontline workers.
A reporter noted some have suggested that Joe Biden is bowing to political pressure from teachers’ unions, who have expressed strong opposition to sending teachers back to the classroom before they are vaccinated.
Psaki said teachers are a vaccination priority because the reopening of schools has an impact on the next generation of American children and the future of the workforce.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi for rescinding their mask mandates as health experts warn of another potential surge in coronavirus cases.
“This entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science,” Psaki said.
The press secretary said Joe Biden would raise the issue the next time he speaks with governors. She encouraged Americans to follow the guidance of public health experts, who are “basing their recommendations on how to save people’s lives”.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said earlier today, “Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not definitively say whether Joe Biden has signed off on more rapidly phasing out the $1,400 checks in the coronavirus relief bill.
“He is comfortable with where the negotiations stand,” Psaki said. She added, “We don’t have a final bill.”
The press secretary emphasized there were “ongoing discussions” about the specifics of the bill, and the White House expected there to be “tweaks on the margins” as the Senate moves toward final passage.
Reports have indicated Biden has signaled support for completely phasing out the checks for individuals who make $80,000 a year, rather than $100,000 a year.
First lady Jill Biden has arrived in Connecticut, where she is visiting an elementary school with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
Biden and Cardona, both former educators, are visiting Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut, and they will later travel to Fort LeBoeuf Middle School in Waterford, Pennsylvania.
The trip comes two days after the Senate confirmed Cardona, in a vote of 64 to 33. Cardona has said that safely reopening schools will be his top priority as education secretary.
Previewing the trip yesterday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “They will highlight the key CDC mitigation strategies that the schools have implemented successfully in these locations; listen to the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic, including the academic, social, and emotional needs of students; highlight the additional resources in the American Rescue Plan needed for schools to open — remain open; and address the needs of students, and thank educators for their work in supporting students and their families.”
Police say officer who shot and killed unarmed Daunte Wright intended to fire Taser
Police in a Minneapolis suburb said an officer accidentally shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man on Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop, releasing graphic body-camera footage they say shows the officer intended to use a Taser not a handgun during the death of unarmed Daunte Wright.
The incident plunged the suburb of Brooklyn Center into a night of unrest as Minneapolis remains on edge during the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd. Hundreds of protesters clashed with police in riot gear who deployed teargas and flash bangs to disperse the crowds.
At a press conference inside Brooklyn Center police headquarters, surrounded by riot police and national guard troops, the police chief, Tim Gannon, described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” and confirmed no weapon had been recovered from Wright’s vehicle.
The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, said he had spoken to Joe Biden, who offered assistance.
“I want to say that our hearts are aching right now,” Elliott told reporters. “We are in pain right now. And we recognise that this couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
“We will get to the bottom of this. We will do all that is in our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.”
Elliott also said he supported firing the officer involved, who was later identified as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police department.
Protesters returned to the streets again on Monday evening, despite a 7pm curfew imposed by the governor of Minnesota. Hundreds of people gathered in the cold and rainy weather outside the Brooklyn Center police department, which was ringed by a metal fence, concrete barriers and police dressed in riot gear. Police later deployed flashbangs, teargas and smoke to disperse the crowd.
Earlier in the day,mourners and outraged community members had made their way to the site where Wright was killed. On a grey, damp morning, Ben Witz and his sister came to the site to lay balloons.
“This is more difficult because there was another, there was another unarmed shooting,” Witz said, explaining that family members lived in the area and that the community was still traumatized from Floyd’s killing and the unrest that followed.
“It seems like it’s a common occurrence now with the police,” Witz said. “It’s crazy what’s happening. It really is.”
The body-camera footage showed Wright being apprehended by two officers, when a third female officer approaches the scene. A struggle ensues and Wright gets back into his vehicle, at which point the female officer opens fire.
“Holy shit. I just shot him,” the officer is heard saying.
As the body-camera footage was released, a small group of activists in the police headquarters waiting area demanded the officer, who has not been identified, be fired immediately.
“Seeing the video just confirms what we already knew,” said Toshira Garraway, the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. “It’s just killing after killing after killing.”
She added: “They will always say, ‘I was afraid, or it was an accident.’ But the fact of the matter is: this was a murder. If she is not fired, this is only going to escalate.”
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters she was on the phone with her son as the encounter occurred. According to her account, reported by local TV news, her son called as he was being pulled over and asked about insurance for the vehicle, which she had recently given him.
She said she heard officers instruct her son to get out of the car and then “scuffling” shortly before the phone hung up.
“A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and my son was laying there lifeless,” she said.
Police said officers determined the driver had an outstanding warrant.
Heavily armored national guard troops worked to barricade the police station on Monday morning, as fewer than a dozen protesters faced the building across a road.
Two national guard Humvees, guardsmen carrying long guns and dozens of officers in riot gear were outside the station as police installed concrete blocks. A couple of members of the Original Black Panthers of Minneapolis group chatted with state troopers.
Witz, 40, a liquor store employee, said he was concerned the business would be vandalized if protests over Wright’s killing led to major unrest.
“It was like a war zone,” Witz said of the unrest that followed Floyd’s death. “And now we’re seeing it here and, I mean, why do we have to vandalize, I mean, I, as a white person I don’t get it, but I want to be educated.”
On Sunday evening, hundreds of protesters marched to the police station and were met by officers in riot gear who discharged teargas, flash-bangs and other munitions. Crowds had largely dispersed by midnight.
The Minnesota department of public safety commissioner, John Harrington, said around 20 businesses at the Shingle Creek shopping center were broken into. The mayor, Elliott, urged protesters “to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force”.
Brooklyn Center is a suburb in north-west Minneapolis with a population of about 30,000. Tensions are high as the murder trial of Chauvin entered its third week.
Amid drizzle and grey skies on Monday, protesters such as Bethany Hemrich came to pay her respects near the site where Wright had been shot dead less than 24 hours before.
“As a mother of a Black child, I couldn’t even fathom,” Hemrich, who is white, said. “My son is 10, and I brought him to [the] George Floyd memorial and had to explain racism to him.”
As her voice broke, she continued: “They didn’t have to kill him. I feel like if it was a white person, they wouldn’t have shot him.”
Quinn Redeemed, 46, spoke of the tension in the area around police-involved deaths of Black people.
Redeemed said: “This just added gasoline to the fire. We’re tired and fired up. The world needs to really see what’s going on. And now, the world is watching Minnesota.”
Police kill student who fired at them at Tennessee high school, authorities say
A student at a Tennessee high school has been shot and killed by police after opening fire on officers responding to reports of a gunman on campus, authorities said on Monday.
David B Rausch, the director of the Tennessee bureau of investigation, said at a news conference that police found the student in a bathroom at Austin-East magnet high school in Knoxville, a city about 180 miles (290km) east of Nashville. They ordered him out, but he wouldn’t comply, and that is when he reportedly opened fire, Rausch said. Police fired back.
The student died at the school, and an officer was wounded and taken into surgery, authorities said. No one else was hurt.
“It’s a sad day for Knoxville, and it’s tough for Austin-East,” Rausch said.
Asked about the overwhelming police response to a call that came in just before afternoon dismissal, the Knoxville police chief, Eve Thomas, said, “We have a student, a school incident. It’s our worst fear, an active shooter in a school.”
The shooting comes as more classrooms are reopening to students after months of remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which cut down the number of mass killings in the US. The nation has seen series of mass shootings in recent weeks, including eight people killed at three Atlanta-area massage businesses on 16 March and 10 people killed at Colorado supermarket on 22 March.
Speaking outside a hospital, Knoxville’s mayor, Indya Kincannon, told WATE-TV that she had spoken with the wounded officer and he was conscious and in good spirits.
Kincannon, a former Knox county schools board president, spoke at a February press conference about the gun violence that took the lives of three Austin-East students less than three weeks apart this year. Two of the victims were 15, and the other was 16. The shootings did not take place in the school.
“I know that school is a safe place,” Kincannon said at that time, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It’s a place where people are learning … The issues with violence are happening in the community, and it’s affecting kids when they’re outside of the school. That’s why we are focusing our efforts to protect the innocent, protect the school, protect the children and students and staff.”
Bob Thomas, the superintendent of Knox county schools, tweeted on Monday that a shooting had occurred but the building had been secured.
“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” Thomas said.
He added in a separate tweet that authorities were gathering information and about “this tragic situation” and that additional information would be provided later.
Police urged people to avoid the area, adding that a reunification site had been set up on a baseball field behind the school for students to be reunited with family.
Last week, the Republican governor signed off on legislation that would make Tennessee the latest state to soon allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns – openly or concealed – without first clearing a background check and training.
The state’s governor, Bill Lee, backed the legislation over objections from law enforcement groups, who argued that the state’s existing permit system provided an important safeguard for knowing who should or shouldn’t be carrying a gun.
The law, which does not apply to long guns, will take effect 1 July. The new measure also increases certain penalties relating to theft, and also makes exceptions for people with certain mental illnesses and criminal convictions.
Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore near deal for NBA’s Timberwolves
Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore appear to be close to owning the Minnesota Timberwolves, finalizing a deal with current owner Glen Taylor, according to reports.
The pair released a statement on Saturday:
“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization, the talented team and their incredible fans.”
The letter of intent paves the way for a 30-day exclusive negotiating window. If a deal is finalized, they would first become minority owners, according to the Athletic, and in 2023, would gain full control.
The Athletic reported an agreement was reached on a $1.5bn price and that the team would remain in Minneapolis – a requirement from Taylor, who has owned the team for almost 30 years.
ESPN also reported the deal was being finalized.
Rodriguez attempted last year to buy the New York Mets alongside ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez, and Lore was among the other partners in that bid.
Lore, a billionaire New York native, stepped down as Walmart CEO in January. The former entrepreneur created Jet.com (sold to Walmart for $3bn) and Diapers.com (sold to Amazon for $545m), among other business ventures.
A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez retired in August 2016 with 698 home runs, a .295 average and 2,086 RBIs in 22 years. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of Major League Baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
A-Rod, now 45 years old, earned about $448m as a player. The 14-time All-Star started his career with Seattle, signed a record contract with Texas in December 2000, and then moved from shortstop to third base when he was traded from the Rangers to the New York Yankees ahead of the 2004 season.