Chris Cuomo, CNN lead anchor and younger brother of disgraced former-governor Andrew Cuomo, is in hot water again after newly released transcripts and text messages revealed that he had a larger role in advising his brother through his sexual harassment scandal.
Last August, calls for Chris Cuomo to be fired were unacknowledged by the host network, who said that Chris had already been taken off coverage of the scandal. Critics said that Cuomo crossed the line and questioned his journalistic ethics by intervening.
According to newly released material, however, Chris Cuomo played a much larger role than the initial meeting he said he took part in, reportedly speaking to his brother on multiple occasions.
Chris Cuomo also offered his services by contacting other television journalists and media sources, according to ABC News. He attempted to find out if more women were going to come forward with allegations against Gov. Cuomo, funneling information back to his brother.
He also allegedly helped by arguing with Gov. Cuomo’s aides over media strategy, and even accused an unnamed aide of hiding important information from him.
Chris Cuomo spoke with his brother “regularly” during the scandal, calling him out for having “bad judgement” and urging him to have a more apologetic tone and be less defensive in interviews and television appearances.
He had previously said that any involvement in his brother’s affairs at the time was a “mistake,” but the new transcripts raise ethical questions about Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN once again. According to ABC News, over 169 text messages, emails, and other forms of communication were also released.
Though Chris Cuomo was barred from discussing the case on television, it has been revealed that he was actively influencing his brother on how to talk to the media, which many critics say went beyond journalistic objection.
“I was worried that this wasn’t being handled the right way, and it’s not my job to handle it, okay?” Chris Cuomo told investigators, the transcripts read. “I don’t work for the governor. I’m not defending him in this matter. I’m not covering it. You know, this is — this is not what I do.”
According to his deposition, Chris Cuomo said that “when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James released the documents previously kept sealed by prosecuting attorneys, “in an effort to provide full transparency,” she said.
Back in August, fellow CNN anchor Brian Stelter stated that “there’s a wide range of opinions” from people at the network about what to do with Chris Cuomo. At the time, some said that he crossed the line while others believed that it’s different when it comes to family.
Gov. Cuomo’s former top aide Melissa DeRosa revealed, however, that Chris Cuomo was on many calls that the inner circle had about the scandal and that “he advised us on how to respond.”
“We are making mistakes we can’t afford,” Chris Cuomo once reprimanded DeRosa. “There were conversations that [Andrew] wasn’t a part of that I thought it was important for him to stay very locked in on.”
Cuomo also allegedly sent DeRosa text messages of a prepared speech for his brother writing “I understand the political pressure I understand the stakes of political warfare, and that’s what this is,” as well as “I understand the conformity that can be forced by cancel culture.”
“I will not resign,” he told DeRosa to include in Gov. Cuomo’s speech. “I cannot resign.”
Representatives of Chris Cuomo have yet to comment on the newly unsealed transcripts.