Chris Cuomo advised brother during sexual harassment allegations, probe says

Northeast

FILE – In this Dec. 8, 2018 file photo, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo attends the 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Cuomo appeared to offer advice on a statement by his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, addressing allegations of sexual harassment, according to a report issued on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. The CNN prime-time personality testified to investigators looking into his older brother’s behavior. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — CNN anchor Chris Cuomo appeared to offer advice on a statement by his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, addressing allegations of sexual harassment, according to a report issued on Tuesday.

The CNN prime-time personality testified to investigators looking into his older brother’s behavior. His name appears four times in the 165-page report issued by New York Attorney General Letitia James as one of several outside advisers who were “regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information” that impacted the government despite having no “formal role, duty, or obligation to the State.”

The report’s appendix included a copy of an email sent Feb. 27, 2021 by Chris Cuomo to his brother’s advisers on a suggested public statement that the governor never intended to offend anyone or cause harm with his behavior. It was not clear whether Chris Cuomo had composed the statement himself or was reacting to suggestions by others.

In the email, it was suggested that Andrew Cuomo say that “sometimes I am playful and make jokes … My only desire is to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo and Chris Cuomo attend a screening of “RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee” during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festiva at SVA Theatre on April 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

CNN directed reporters to past statements it had made about Chris Cuomo, and had no comment as of Wednesday morning.

He made no mention of the story on his show Tuesday night. Still, a crawl running on the bottom of CNN’s screen detailed the story about his brother as he handed off to Don Lemon at 10 p.m. Lemon made the charges against Gov. Cuomo his lead story.

Earlier this year, CNN said that Chris Cuomo had acted inappropriately following a story in The Washington Post that he had participated in strategy calls with his brother’s advisers.

Andrew Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi described the group of advisers who met periodically as “people who have been with us for a long time who we could trust.”

The report issued by James on Tuesday accused the governor of sexually harassing 11 women inside and outside New York government. The nearly five-month investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”

Cuomo remained defiant Tuesday following the investigation’s findings and continued to deny the allegations, saying “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

In past statements, CNN has said that Chris Cuomo has not been involved in the network’s coverage of harassment allegations against his brother. The network covered James’ news conference releasing her report on Tuesday and discussed it extensively afterward.

Gov. Cuomo also allegedly gave family members including his brother special access to state-administered COVID-19 tests in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

CNN said in a statement emailed to Reuters: “We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees.”

“However, it is not surprising that in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris (Cuomo) was showing symptoms and was concerned about possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would,” the network said.

Chris Cuomo conducted a series of interviews – which some critics called gentle or even comical – on CNN with his older brother during the pandemic.

After the nursing home and sexual misconduct scandals broke, the network said its conflict-of-interest policy meant that Chris Cuomo could not report on the governor.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

You can read the full probe below:

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