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Cuomo calls out GOP senators who can't recall Trump's use of vulgar word

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the annual Martin Luther King Day event at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, mocked Republican senators who said they can’t recall President Donald Trump uttering a vulgarity during a meeting at the White House on immigration.

Cuomo, who earlier called the president’s comments “ugly” and “repulsive,” condemned two GOP senators – David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas – who say they either did not hear or do not recall Trump using a vulgar word to describe African countries.

“And then they lie about it,” Cuomo said. “They come out, two Republican senators say, ‘I don’t recall that being said.’ Sounds like Watergate.”

Cuomo said it’s not just a Republican versus Democratic issue, because GOP Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina confirmed that he heard the comments and called Trump out on them. And he said they are certain words and situations that most people would find memorable.

“You remember when someone says, ‘Those countries are S-H,’ and that person is the president, and you're sitting in the White House. You remember that,” Cuomo said. “And if you don't remember that, that's even worse. Because that means you are not outraged at the statement. And you should have been outraged as an American.”

Cuomo said institutionalized discrimination still exists, and “outrage and activism” are more important than ever.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.