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‘Unwise’ and ‘unjust’: Gov. DeSantis slams reports of potential Florida travel restrictions

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Responding Thursday to a report claiming that the Biden administration is considering travel restrictions on Florida, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) slammed the idea of restricting travel between states as “unwise” and “unjust” while charging that undocumented immigrants are allowed “to pour across the southern border unmolested.”

The Biden administration, according to a Miami Herald report, is contemplating “potential travel restrictions that do not target a specific state but focus on how to prevent the spread of variants that appear to be surging in a number of states, including Florida and California.”

Florida has the most confirmed cases in the U.S. of the United Kingdom coronavirus strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“It would be unconstitutional, it would be unwise, and it would be unjust,” DeSantis said, vowing that the Sunshine State would fight back.

Moreover, the governor claimed that any actions to restrict travel would not be based in science and alleged it would be a “political attack against the people of Florida.”

DeSantis also tried to say that it was not fair to restrict travel with the U.S. while accusing the country of “allowing” undocumented immigrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Restricting the right of Americans to travel freely throughout our country while allowing illegal aliens to pour across the southern border unmolested would be a ridiculous but very damaging farce,” DeSantis said.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), according to The Miami Herald, penned a letter to President Joe Biden saying that travel restrictions on the state would be “reckless and economically harmful.”

“Instituting a travel ban, or any restriction of movement between the states, would be an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science,” Rubio wrote, with the newspaper noting that the White House has not said that it is mulling a travel ban on Florida.

A White House spokesperson Thursday told Orlando-based WESH 2 News that no policy announcements are imminent.

“To be clear, there have been no decisions made around additional public health measures for domestic travel safety. The administration is continuing to discuss recommendations across the travel space, but no specific decisions are under consideration,” the spokesperson said to the NBC News-affiliated station.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration is contemplating a rule that would mandate negative COVID-19 test results for flying domestically, according to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

In a Sunday interview with “Axios on HBO,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor and dark horse 2020 presidential candidate noted the potential testing mandates for U.S. flyers.

“There’s an active conversation with the CDC right now,” Buttigieg told Axios. “What I can tell you is, it’s going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people who are actually going to have to carry this out.”

MORE ON DESANTIS: DeSantis proposes new measures to fight Big Tech deplatforming of political candidates, including a $100G fine

MORE ON DESANTIS: ‘Whoop Dee Doo’: Gov. DeSantis says he’s ‘not the priority’ when asked if he’s gotten the COVID-19 vaccine

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

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

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “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.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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