CNN’s Chris Cuomo Apologizes for Helping Governor Brother With Damage Control

CNN’s Chris Cuomo has apologized for advising his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on containing the fallout from the governor’s sexual harassment allegations scandal.

Chris Cuomo addressed the matter in a CNN segment on Thursday, saying he took part in strategy calls with his brother and some of his staff members, while admitting it “was a mistake” because it put his CNN colleagues “in a bad spot.” At the same time, Chris Cuomo said that he took himself out of on-air coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against his brother and insisted that he never tried to influence CNN’s coverage of the matter.

“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,” Chris Cuomo said. “Now today, there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly and I certainly have never hidden it. I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family.”

“My family means everything to me and I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second,” Chris Cuomo said.

Nine women, including both current and former aides, have in recent months accused Gov. Cuomo of sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations, most recently during a rare in-person briefing with reporters in upstate New York in late April, where he insisted, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” His statement was a subtle shift from earlier remarks, where he admitted to saying things that may have made employees uncomfortable or been seen as “unwanted flirtation.”

New York
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference in East Rockaway, N.Y., on April 22, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Chris Cuomo said in his Thursday segment that, “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.”

“How I helped my brother also matters. When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers, that did include some of his staff, I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake,” he said.

Chris Cuomo added that he never intended to put his CNN colleagues in a “bad spot” by taking part in strategy calls with his brother, saying “I am sorry for that” and insisting that he knows “where the line is.”

“I can respect it and still be there for my family, which I must. I have to do that. I love my brother, I love my family, I love my job, and I love and respect my colleagues here at CNN,” he said. “And again, to them, I am truly sorry.”

His remarks came on the same day that a CNN spokesperson told multiple media outlets that Chris Cuomo engaging with conversations with his brother’s staff and advisers was “inappropriate” and wouldn’t happen again.

“Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo—on air or behind the scenes,” a CNN spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. “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.”

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Tom Ozimek
Author: Tom Ozimek

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