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CNN suspends Chris Cuomo for helping brother in scandal

FILE – New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appears at a press conference on COVID-19 at the State Capitol in Albany, NY, December 3, 2020, left, and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo attends the 12th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on December 9, 2018. Transcripts released on Monday, November 29, 2021 shed new light on the behind-the-scenes role of Chris Cuomo, presenter of CNN, advising his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, about allegations of sexual harassment that forced him to step down. (Mike Groll / Andrew M. Cuomo’s Office of the Governor via AP, left, and Evan Agostini / Invision / AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – CNN announced on Tuesday it is indefinitely suspending presenter Chris Cuomo after details were revealed of how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he was facing charges of sexual harassment.

The network said documents released by the New York attorney general on Monday indicated a higher level of effort by his brother than the network previously knew.

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

The CNN presenter had lobbied sources for information on his brother’s accusers and reported to governor’s staff, and actively helped craft their response to the accusations, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony. in front of investigators working for State Attorney General Letitia James.

Cuomo had previously admitted speaking to his brother and offering him advice when the governor faced harassment charges that led to his resignation. But information released on November 29 revealed many more details of what he did.

Andrew Cuomo resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial, after an investigation by James’ office found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Cuomo’s program, which airs at 9 p.m. EST on weekday evenings, is often the network’s most-watched show of the day.

Cuomo interviewed his brother several times during the first two months of the COVID-19 outbreak. It was a hit with viewers, although it violated CNN’s policy of not having Cuomo reported on his brother, and was a programming choice that worsened with time and additional disclosures.

Chris Cuomo frequently consulted with his brother’s aides when Andrew battled the charges last May, sometimes at odds with their advice.

“He’s my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother get through a situation where he told me he hadn’t done anything wrong,” Cuomo told DA investigators last July. general.

He said he did nothing to influence his own network’s coverage of the story.

Cuomo also said he reached out to other reporters to find out if they were writing stories about his brother, including looking for information about what The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow was writing. He admitted that he had not told CNN he was doing this and called his actions nothing out of the ordinary to a reporter.

Critics called on CNN to take action after 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.

Cuomo, a lawyer, is 13 years younger than Andrew Cuomo, whom he described as his best friend. They are the sons of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who served from 1982 to 1996.


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