A group of New York Republican congressmen say that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo lied Thursday when he attributed damaging quotes to them after they voted for the House GOP tax reform bill.
Cuomo on Thursday called the congressmen who voted for the bill "treasonous" and compared them to Benedict Arnold. He claimed that in private conversations, the lawmakers all told him that they were only supporting the measure to please their party bosses.
"I talked to all of them and they all had the same line which was, ‘Well you know my political leaders are forcing me to vote for it,'" Cuomo told reporters.
But of the four New York Republicans who voted for the House bill, three told the New York Times that they not only did not make the comments, but also have not spoken to Cuomo at all.
Republican Reps. Chris Collins, Claudia Tenney, and John Katko all said they did not speak to Cuomo about the measure. Tenney added that she has not spoken to Cuomo in several years.
"Not only is he a bold-faced liar, but he also is fabricating quotations," Collins said.
The only New York congressman who did speak to Cuomo about the bill also says he never made the comments that Cuomo claims.
"I never believed I'd be living in a state with a governor that was an outright liar," Rep. Tom Reed told the Times.
"I'm not even going to say mischaracterizing it. It's just an outright lie by a liar in the governor's mansion. To me, that is very troublesome," Reed added.
When contacted by the Times, Cuomo's staff did not bother defending the initial statement.
"The governor's point was the Republican congressmen he spoke to said they were under pressure from their political leadership to vote yes," spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.