CNN host Chris Cuomo is in boiling hot water over his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Democratic governor sexually harassed at least 11 women and then retaliated against at least one former employee who complained, according to a report released Tuesday by state Attorney General Letitia James. The report concluded that the governor “sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” James said at a press conference.
James’ report also said that CNN’s Cuomo received “confidential and often privileged information” about some of the women who alleged sexual harassment and “looked to protect” his brother. In addition, the report said the TV host “found ways not to believe” his brother’s accusers.
“This is an intolerable conflict of interest for @CNN,” said Keith Olbermann, a sports and political commentator who hosted an MSNBC show from 2003 to 2011. “You cannot have an anchor formally consulting his brother on how to handle the media, when he has outsized influence on how a large player in the media covers his brother (or doesn’t). They cannot keep @ChrisCuomo on air.”
This is an intolerable conflict of interest for @cnn. You cannot have an anchor formally consulting his brother on how to handle the media, when he has outsized influence on how a large player in the media covers his brother (or doesn’t). They cannot keep @ChrisCuomo on air. https://t.co/pFEuMstrnt
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 3, 2021
James’ report also divulged a text message from one of the governor’s alleged victims complaining about CNN’s pro-Cuomo coverage. In May, The Washington Post broke the news that the host of “Cuomo Prime Time” advised his older brother how to handle the burgeoning cases of sexual impropriety. At the time, the network said his behavior was inappropriate but would not happen again, The Daily Wire’s Ben Johnson reported.
Chris Cuomo and many others who devised the governor’s crisis response strategy “were not State employees at all,” the AG report says. “None of them was officially retained in any capacity by the Executive Chamber or any of the individuals involved.”
“Nonetheless, they were regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information about state operations and helped make decisions that impacted State business and employees — all without any formal role, duty, or obligation to the State,” the report says.
The report says the governor “actively engaged in an effort to discredit her, including by disseminating to the press confidential internal documents that painted her in a negative light.” But the governor’s “advisors, including [Global Strategy Group founder Jeffrey] Pollock and Chris Cuomo, counseled him to express contrition after the press published Ms. [Charlotte] Bennett’s allegations,” at least in public, the report says.
In May, Chris Cuomo said on his show “Cuomo Prime Time,” “I love my family and I love my job. My family means everything to me and I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second. But being a journalist and a brother to a politician is unique, and a unique challenge and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles.”
“Cuomo at the time apologized after The Washington Post reported that he had taken part in conversations with Andrew Cuomo about the allegations being made against him—and how to respond,” Forbes reported.
“When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his, advisers, that did include some of his staff, I understand why that was a problem for CNN,” Cuomo said, according to Forbes. “It will not happen again. It was a mistake, because I put my colleagues, who I consider the best in the business, in a bad spot.”