Cuomo declines to release book contract, dismisses “stupid” question about criticism

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday would not release more details about his $5.12 million book deal, despite calls from the New York State Republican Chairman to release his contract with the publisher.

“You know the details. I release my taxes every year,” Cuomo said during a stop at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga.

“I have disclosed more of my life than probably any elected official in the State of New York,” he added.

When Cuomo’s aides released the governor’s taxes earlier this week, they revealed that American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic earned Cuomo a payment of $3.12 million in the last taxable year and an additional $2 million over the next two years. Of the $1.5 million net income Cuomo has already received from the book, his senior advisor says he donated $500,000 to the United Way and is putting the rest in a trust for his daughters.

Nick Langworthy, the GOP Chairman, was waiting outside while Cuomo was speaking in the airport.

“It’s a sick cash grab, a disgusting cash grab. It’s done on the coffins of 15,000 New York seniors,” Langworthy said, referring to residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities.

In all, 42,542 New York State residents have died from the coronavirus as of Thursday, according to published state data.

When asked about the allegation that Cuomo’s book money came off of dead New Yorkers, Cuomo said, “That’s stupid.”

“I thought your question was stupid and offensive,” he told the News 4 reporter. “I wrote a book saying this is what we should learn from what has happened so far in COVID, because we’re not done. And it’s going to continue.”

The book, and whether Cuomo used state resources to write it, is reportedly under investigation, including by the New York State Assembly’s impeachment investigators.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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