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De Blasio calls for investigation into Cuomo sexual harassment claims

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Thursday called for an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) by a former member of his administration, Lindsey Boylan.

On Wednesday in an essay published to Medium, Boylan accused the governor of inappropriate touching and remarks, as well as kissing without consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

“These allegations are really disturbing. Let’s be clear about that, they’re really disturbing. We have to, as New Yorkers, we got to take this seriously. When a woman comes forward with this kind of very specific allegations, they have to be taken seriously,” de Blasio said at a press conference.

De Blasio, who is widely considered to be rivals with Cuomo, specifically called for an investigation independent of any possible influence from Cuomo’s administration.

“We need a full and independent investigation, I want to emphasize the word ‘independent,’ investigation by some individual or entity that is not compromised, is not dominated by the governor’s office, but an independent investigation,” de Blasio continued. “This kind of behavior, if it’s true, is unacceptable in any public servant, in anybody. So we’ve got to get the truth about this.”

Back in December, Boylan accused the governor of making inappropriate comments about her appearance but did not elaborate further at the time.

Cuomo’s press secretary, Caitlin Girouard, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that Boylan’s accusations were “quite simply false.” In particular, Girouard pointed to a statement from other administration officials saying they did not witness conversations that she alleged occurred on a flight in October 2017, when Cuomo allegedly remarked to Boylan: “Let’s play strip poker.”

De Blasio’s remarks also follow him last week coming to the defense of a Queens lawmaker, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D), who accused Cuomo of threatening him over the phone for not helping the governor allegedly cover up the scandal surrounding the administration underreporting the number of coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes.

MORE ON DE BLASIO, CUOMO: ‘The bullying is nothing new’: de Blasio unleashes on Gov. Cuomo after lawmaker says he was threatened

Kim himself on Wednesday came to the defense of Boylan, and called Cuomo a “coward.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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