CNN suspends news anchor Chris Cuomo, citing evidence he helped his politician brother

CNN suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely on Tuesday after details emerged about helping his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo face sexual assault charges earlier this year.

The network said documents released Monday by New York’s attorney general indicate that Cuomo has been more involved in his brother’s efforts than CNN officials.

“As a result, we have indefinitely suspended Chris, pending further evaluation,” the network said.

The CNN anchor pressed sources for information about her brother’s accusers and reported back to the governor’s staff, and to investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James, according to emails and a transcript of her testimony. Was proactive in helping to prepare his response to the allegations. ,

Her office found that Andrew Cuomo sexually assaulted at least 11 women.

When the governor faced allegations of harassment, Chris Cuomo admitted to having previously spoken to and counseled his brother. But information released on Monday revealed more details about what he actually did. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August to avoid a possible impeachment trial.

Cuomo’s program, which airs weekends at 9 p.m. ET, averaged 1.3 million viewers, surpassing Anderson Cooper as CNN’s most popular show, according to analytics firm Nielsen. Like many cable newscasts, viewership dropped drastically during the election year.

Cuomo appeared on his show Monday night, in which he talked about COVID-19 and politics, without mentioning his own issues.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment sent to Cuomo and the attorney representing him during this summer’s testimony.

During the first two months of the pandemic, Cuomo interviewed his brother several times on-air. It was a hit with viewers, although it violated CNN’s policy not to report Cuomo on his brother.

Cuomo reaches out to other journalists

According to the documents, Chris Cuomo frequently consulted with his brother’s aides when Andrew was fighting the charges last May, sometimes disagreeing with his advice.

“It’s my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother in a situation where he told me he didn’t do anything wrong,” Cuomo testified to investigators in the attorney general’s office last July.

He has said that he did nothing to affect his network’s coverage of the story.

Cuomo also said that he reached out to other journalists to find out if they were writing stories about his brother, specifically information about what The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow was writing. were asking. He admitted that he did not tell CNN that he was doing so, and that he did not describe his actions as anything out of the ordinary for a journalist.

Critics have called on CNN to take action following the attorney general’s release, with The Atlantic’s David A. Graham saying Cuomo should resign — or be fired by CNN if he doesn’t.

After The Washington Post first disclosed last May that Cuomo had consulted with his brother’s aides, CNN issued a statement saying his actions were unfair, but that it did not discipline him.

Cuomo, who is also a licensed attorney, is 13 years younger than Andrew Cuomo, whom she describes as her best friend. He is the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who was in office from 1982 to 1996.

He worked at ABC News for several years, joining CNN in 2013 as a co-host of the network’s morning show.

In September, veteran TV executive Shelley Ross wrote a column for The New York Times saying that Chris Cuomo groped her at a party 16 years ago. “I apologized to him then and I meant it,” Cuomo told the newspaper.

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