In a recently surfaced video that many observers consider cringeworthy after recent allegations of sexual harassment have been brought against him, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is seen coaxing a young female journalist to inhale a giant sausage sandwich in front of him.
The footage comes from the 2016 state fair, and shows the 63-year-old Democrat sitting with News 12 reporter Beth Cefalu whom he playfully challenges to devour the sandwich. An aide, who was directed to bring the sandwich to Cefalu, recorded the entire incident on his phone.
"I want to see you eat the whole sausage," Cuomo says to Cefalu.
The reporter responds, "I don't know if I should eat the whole sausage in front of you but I'm definitely gonna eat it."
An aide then brings a chair, placing Cefalu directly next to Cuomo. The governor stares at her and says she has "no excuses."
Cefalu doesn't appear to be overly bothered by the exchange, even asking Cuomo if she may take a selfie with him. The governor laughs and says, "There's too much sausage in that selfie."
Since the video resurfaced, Cefalu has commented that it was "two people enjoying the one event" that allows them to act informal, and confirmed she did not feel pressured or harassed.
But the otherwise silly video seems to have more significance after two sexual harassment allegations have surfaced against Cuomo from former aides. Both Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan have said the governor used his position of authority to bring unwanted advances towards them.
Bennett says that Cuomo hinted at the possibility of a physical relationship between the two of them, and Boylan claims the governor kissed her on the lips and suggested that they play strip poker together. Cuomo has offered an apology for playful banter that the women may have misinterpreted.