New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday defended his decision to receive political advice from his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo.
“I had conversations with my brother. I always have conversations with my brother because he’s my brother and he’s my best friend,” the governor told the New York Post. “Obviously, he was aware of what was going on and I talked to him about it, and he told me his thoughts. He always tells me his thoughts. Sometimes I follow them; sometimes I don’t. He was not covering the story. He had recused himself from the story.”
Cuomo defended the decision to ask his brother for advice because he frequently asks other reporters for their take on political issues. He did not, however, indicate with whom he discusses similar matters.
“But I talk to journalists about situations all the time and they tell me their thoughts and their advice,” the governor explained.
At the time, Andrew Cuomo was facing a number of sexual harassment allegations from former staffers. He had gone to his brother, Chris, for advice on how to handle the situation, The Washington Post reported last week.
“Four sources familiar with the calls told the newspaper that Chris Cuomo advised his brother on how to handle the political fallout produced by the allegations. Chris reportedly told his brother to refuse to resign and strike a defiant pose, claiming he was standing up against ‘cancel culture,’” per a report from The Daily Wire.
After the news about the calls broke, Chris Cuomo dedicated a segment on his show to apologize for the alleged conflict of interest.
“If you would, allow me a moment. If you’ll remember, I told you back in the beginning of March, I can’t cover my brother’s troubles. It wouldn’t be fair. And you got it then, and I appreciate you understanding. Now today, there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course, I do. This is no revelation,” Chris Cuomo explained on Thursday, according to a report from The Daily Wire. “I’ve said it publicly and I certainly have never hidden it. I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family. Those of you who watch this show get it. Like you, I bet, my family means everything to me and I’m fiercely loyal to them. I’m 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. It’s not always easy,” the CNN host said. “People can say and write what they want, but I want you to know the truth.”
The CNN host said he put his colleagues “in a bad spot” when he got involved in the governor’s sexual harassment allegations. He vowed the incident “will not happen again.”