Chris Cuomo addresses brother Andrew Cuomo: ‘I tried to do the right thing’
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo broke his silence regarding the sexual misconduct allegations that led to the resignation of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), revealing late Monday that he advised his brother to resign and clarifying he had no part in the network’s coverage of the scandal.
“I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program. I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation. I never influenced or attempted to control CNN’s coverage of my family,” Cuomo said near the end of his nightly program. “And as you know, back in May when I was told to no longer communicate with my brother’s aides in any group meetings, I acknowledged it was a mistake, I apologized to my colleagues, I stopped, and I meant it.”
The prime-time host said it was a “unique” situation being a brother to a politician in a scandal and at the same time part of the media.
“I tried to do the right thing, and I just want you all to know that,” he told viewers.
The CNN anchor was named in a report earlier this month from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) office that found the governor sexually harassed nearly a dozen women.
The report found Chris Cuomo, who had been participating in crisis public relations sessions with his brother, sent the embattled governor an email in which he proposed lines that were eventually included in a late February statement in response to allegations from several women made last winter.
Chris Cuomo stressed late Monday that he had no part in CNN’s coverage of the scandal.
“I never covered my brother’s troubles because I obviously have a conflict, and there are rules at CNN about that. I said last year that his appearances on this show would be short-lived, and they were,” Cuomo said. “The last was over a year ago, long before any kind of scandal. I also said back then that a day would come when he would have to be held to account and I can’t do that. I said point blank, I can’t be objective when it comes to my family, so I never reported on the scandal. And when it happened, I tried to be there for my brother.”
When Cuomo’s participation in those sessions was first revealed, the he apologized and called it a mistake. On Monday, he acknowledged that he had maintained contact with his brother on a personal level.
“I’m not an adviser. I’m a brother and I wasn’t in control of anything. I was there to listen and offer my take,” he continued. “And yes, while it was something I never imagined having to do, I did urge my brother to resign when the time came.”
“It was a unique situation being a brother to a politician in a scandal and being part of the media,” @ChrisCuomo says. “I tried to do the right thing, and I just want you-all to know that.” pic.twitter.com/oSWnxNImwG
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 17, 2021
Cuomo also said there are rules about covering his brother at CNN. When news of the anchor participating in strategy sessions with his brother first surfaced, CNN President Jeff Zucker said Cuomo “made a mistake” but declined to suspend him, arguing doing so would be “punishment for the sake of punishing.”
“Tonight I simply wanted to address something that given what’s happened, I think needed to be said,” the Cuomo concluded Monday evening. “This will be my final word on it and I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do so.”
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