New York

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will be truth-teller on new podcast launching Thursday

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose new podcast is set to launch this week, said Tuesday that the show will serve as a vigorous fact-focused project, despite questions about his administration’s honesty that followed him out of office.

The podcast, “As a Matter of Fact… with Andrew Cuomo,” marks another step back into public life for the Democrat, who has worked to rehabilitate his image after resigning in disgrace 14 months ago, engulfed by a hail of sexual harassment allegations that he has denied.

The former governor revealed plans for the podcast last month. He said Tuesday that each episode will run about 40 minutes long, and that he will seek to find political common ground through the fact-based approach.

Cuomo said the first episode, planned to land on the Quake Media platform Thursday, will feature appearances from Mark Penn, a longtime pollster for former President Bill Clinton; Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Anthony Scaramucci, the colorful Donald Trump spokesman-turned-antagonist.

Cuomo, 64, compared the show’s approach to the popular briefings he held during the worst of the COVID outbreak.

“What I want to do with the podcast is take a specific issue,” Cuomo said, “and really talk about it — not emotionally, but factually.”

“The problem is people have different facts,” he said in a phone call from Manhattan on Tuesday. “There are no Democratic facts. There’s no such thing. And there’s no such thing as Republican facts. Let’s establish actual facts.”

He said he took care to separate fact from opinion during his political career.

But the state comptroller found last March that Cuomo’s administration had misled the public about COVID deaths in nursing homes, and a state Assembly report last year determined that the evidence of Cuomo’s sexual misconduct was “overwhelming.” (He has argued he has been vindicated by a lack of criminal charges stemming from harassment probes.)

Asked why he would be well-positioned to serve as an arbiter of facts, Cuomo said: “I don’t think anyone believes anyone in this gambit now.”

“I don’t think anyone believes anything they read in the newspaper,” Cuomo said. “I don’t think they believe anything they see on the TV news. And I don’t think they believe politicians.”

He added that he thinks his COVID briefings showed how to properly establish facts for listeners, and disputed the nursing home death report from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Cuomo predicted that the podcast will allow him to be an equal-opportunity critic of the Democratic Party and the GOP. But he saved some harsh criticism for the candidacy of Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Long Island lawmaker who is challenging Gov. Hochul this fall and trails by single digits in some polls.

“Congressman Zeldin should not even be an option for this state,” Cuomo said, describing the Republican as an “ultra-conservative” who is anti-abortion, opposes marriage equality and resists gun safety measures. “Those three issues make him a non-starter.”

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