CNN suspends news anchor Chris Cuomo, citing evidence he helped his politician brother
CNN suspended presenter Chris Cuomo indefinitely on Tuesday after details emerged of how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, deal with allegations of sexual harassment earlier this year.
The network said documents released by the New York attorney general on Monday indicated that Cuomo was more involved in his brother’s efforts than CNN executives previously knew.
“As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” the network said.
The CNN presenter lobbied sources for information on his brother’s accusers and reported to governor’s staff, and was active in helping craft their response to the accusations, emails and a transcript show. of her testimony to investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James.
His office discovered that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Chris Cuomo had previously admitted speaking to his brother and offering him advice when the governor faced allegations of harassment. But information released on Monday revealed many more details on exactly what he did. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.
Cuomo’s program, which airs at 9 p.m. ET on weekday evenings, has averaged 1.3 million viewers, narrowly surpassing Anderson Cooper as CNN’s most popular show, according to the analytics firm. Nielsen. Like many cable TV news, viewership declined dramatically after increasing during the election year.
Cuomo appeared on his show Monday night, speaking about COVID-19 and politics, without mentioning his own issues.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment sent to Cuomo and the lawyer who represented him during testimony this summer.
During the first two months of the pandemic, Cuomo interviewed his brother on several occasions. It was a hit with viewers, although it violated CNN’s policy of not having Cuomo report on his brother.
Cuomo contacted other reporters
According to the documents, Chris Cuomo frequently consulted with his brother’s aides when Andrew was battling the charges last May, sometimes at odds with their advice.
“He’s my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother get through a situation where he told me he hadn’t done anything wrong,” Cuomo told DA investigators last July. general.
He said he did nothing to influence his own network’s coverage of the story.
Cuomo also said he reached out to other reporters to find out if they were writing stories about his brother, including looking for information about what Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker was writing. He admitted that he had not told CNN he was doing this and called his actions nothing out of the ordinary to a reporter.
Critics have called on CNN to take action after Attorney General David A. Graham of The Atlantic is released saying Cuomo should resign – or be fired by CNN if he doesn’t.
After it was first revealed last May by the Washington Post that Cuomo had consulted with his brother’s assistants, CNN released a statement saying his actions were inappropriate, but that did not discipline him.
Cuomo, who is also a licensed attorney, is 13 years younger than Andrew Cuomo, whom he described as his best friend. They are the sons of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who served from 1982 to 1996.
He worked for several years at ABC News, joining CNN in 2013 as co-host of the network’s morning show.
In September, veteran television executive Shelley Ross wrote a column for The New York Times, claiming Chris Cuomo groped her at a party 16 years ago. Cuomo told the newspaper, “I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”