News and Analysis

Chris Cuomo Says CNN Boss Jeff Zucker Knew He Was Helping His Brother
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 08: Jeff Zucker attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes at the American Museum of Natural History on December 08, 2019 in New York City.
J. Countess/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that ex-CNN anchor Chris Cuomo claimed CNN president Jeff Zucker knew about his efforts to help his brother and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo navigate public relations in regard to numerous accusations of sexual harassment levied against the Democratic politician.

On Sunday, The Daily Wire reported that CNN announced an investigation into Chris Cuomo’s history brought forth new information about alleged sexual harassment involving the younger Cuomo brother.

The report forced CNN to elevate the former anchor’s temporary suspension to the level of termination from the network:

New details emerged on Sunday about why CNN decided to fire star host Chris Cuomo on Saturday evening as the network conducted an investigation into Cuomo’s role in helping his brother, then-New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, navigate a sexual misconduct scandal.

Debra S. Katz, a left-wing attorney, said in a statement on Sunday that she is representing a client who claims that Chris Cuomo engaged in “serious sexual misconduct” against her at another network.

For his part, a spokesman for Cuomo issued an in-depth rejection of the allegation, as The Daily Wire noted:

“To the extent that they were sent to CNN to negate what Chris Cuomo told his audience, he fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way,” the statement from Chris Cuomo’s team said. “If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”

The Journal revealed that an attorney representing Cuomo said that his former boss was very close to her client and that the network was aware he was assisting his brother:

A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said in a text message on Sunday: “Mr. Cuomo has the highest level of admiration and respect for Mr. Zucker. They were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother. There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest.”

The new revelations give more insight behind Cuomo’s immediate reaction following the news he had been fired:

“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 in a statement. “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.”

A reporter for The Washington Post tweeted Monday morning that Zucker told his employees on a team call that the law firm that the network had hired to do the initial investigation would be retained to look at the separate misconduct allegation.

“CNN president Jeff Zucker told employees during a call this morning that the network has asked the law firm it worked with to conduct a separate review of the misconduct allegation made against Chris Cuomo. That investigation will continue, as it relates to CNN,” the reported said.

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