NEW YORK — In a statement released Thursday, CNN said it was inappropriate for news anchor Chris Cuomo to be involved in phone calls with the staff of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo -— on air or behind the scenes,” the CNN spokesperson said. “In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.”
“However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges,” the spokesperson added. “He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
Cuomo offered an apology for his conduct on his Thursday night show.
"I am family first, job second."
CNN's Chris Cuomo defended advising his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on how to respond to sexual harassment allegations against him, and apologized to his colleagues for putting them "in a bad spot." https://t.co/ZOlmkNJS4D
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 21, 2021
“It will not happen again. It was a mistake, because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that, I would never intend for that, and I am sorry for that.”
The revelation that Cuomo had advised his brother vexed staffers inside CNN. Multiple CNN staffers said they were bothered by Cuomo’s conduct and the violation of traditional journalistic standards.
The Washington Post reports that the CNN news anchor was involved in strategy sessions on how to respond to sexual harassment allegations against his older brother.
The Post said Chris Cuomo advised his brother not to resign in the wake of the accusations, which his brother has not done.
CNN has not disciplined its prime time anchor for being involved in the phone calls.
“Today there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice,” Chris Cuomo said Thursday on his show, Cuomo Prime Time. “Of course I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly, and I certainly have never hidden it.”
Andrew Cuomo has faced allegations of sexual harassment from several women in the past few months. New York’s attorney general has initiated an independent investigation into the allegations, and a committee in the state assembly has launched an impeachment probe.
Cuomo has also been accused of hiding data in an attempt to cover up COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes in the state.