CNN host Chris Cuomo responded to the news on Saturday evening that the network fired him by saying that he was disappointed by the decision and suggesting that he had already disclosed the information regarding what he did to help his brother, then-New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, navigate the public relations battle over sexual misconduct allegations.
“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” Chris Cuomo said. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
CNN president Jeff Zucker told employees about the termination in a memo, saying that “it goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved.”
In a statement announcing the termination, the network said that it had encountered new information that led to its decision:
Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.
Cuomo was suspended on Tuesday after documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James showed that he was more involved in helping his brother than he previously disclosed.
At the time of his suspension, the network said:
The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions. When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.
Chris Cuomo weighed in on the allegations made against his brother during an interview this week on SiriusXM, saying, “The game has rules.”
“And one of the general principles is you can fight against the other party, and you can fight against the media, but only if you have your party,” Chris Cuomo said. “Andrew had his party enforcing a rule against him that if you have accusations, you have problems, and you don’t really get to really vet the accusations, and you don’t get to go against your accusers.”
Mediaite reported that Chris Cuomo said that his brother’s resignation was forced in part because “he had the Republicans hating him” and because “the media never really liked him.”
“So that is too much,” Cuomo said. “And that is why he had to resign. I did not want him to resign in the beginning, because I believed him. … But eventually, when there wasn’t going to be due process, and his party was against him, and obviously the Republicans weren’t going to help him, then he had no choice because he couldn’t do the work of the state anymore.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.