CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely over role in brother Andrew's scandal


Chris Cuomo in May, 2018 in New York City.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images

NCS on Tuesday suspended host Chris Cuomo indefinitely after paperwork revealed he was extra deeply concerned in damage-control efforts for his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, throughout a sexual harassment scandal earlier this 12 months.

A NCS spokeswoman, in an electronic mail to CNBC stated that transcripts and reveals launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday “shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense” and “raise serious questions” for the community, which had not identified concerning the extent of his role.

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the spokeswoman stated.

“But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

The suspension got here inside hours of a requirement by a former aide to Andrew Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, that NCS ought to fireplace Chris Cuomo.

Bennett stated Chris Cuomo had tried to smear her and different ladies who had accused his brother of sexual harassment.

“Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking morals and a backbone,” wrote Bennett in a tweet, which stated his “behavior is reprehensible, unprofessional and inexcusable.”

“Does NCS stand by journalistic integrity, or will it simply excuse his actions because Chris Cuomo drives ratings?”

On Monday, James, who had commissioned an investigation of Andrew Cuomo earlier this 12 months after a lot of ladies accused him of sexual, launched documents related to Chris Cuomo, who counseled his brother and the governor’s staff about how to deal with the rising number of claims.

Andrew Cuomo denied wrongdoing, however resigned in August per week after James launched the damning findings of the investigation. At least 11 ladies had accused Andrew of harasment.

In the newly launched paperwork, Chris Cuomo advised investigators that he neither tried to seek out any info to disparage accusers of his brother nor did he “even know of any opposition research being done” by the governor’s workers.

But the paperwork elsewhere point out that Chris Cuomo forwarded to his brother’s advisors a tweet that references a grievance from a school that concerned Bennett.

And the paperwork present that in March, days after The New York Times reported that Andrew Cuomo tried to kiss a lady named Anna Ruch in an undesirable advance at a marriage, Chris Cuomo texted prime Gov. Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa with the message: “I have a lead on the wedding girl.”

Bennett in a tweet Tuesday wrote, “Yesterday, we learned just how far Chris Cuomo was willing to go to discredit, silence and smear women, like me, who came forward to report Governor Cuomo’s sexual misconduct,”

“In addition to scouring the internet for personal information about me, he reached out to his professional network with the hope of intercepting additional allegations against his brother.”

“NCS must immediately take action,” she wrote.

In an interview with investigators in July, the transcript of which was launched solely Monday, Chris Cuomo claimed: “I would never do oppo [opposition] research on anybody alleging anything like this. I’m not in the oppo research business.”

“I don’t tolerate a lot of oppo research on any level,” Chris Cuomo stated.

“And I was never aware of anything like what you’re suggesting, nor did I ever participate in, nor did I ever suggest, nor would I ever tolerate anything like what you’re suggesting.”

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Chris Cuomo stated in the identical interview that he didn’t recall receiving a grievance associated to Hamilton College, the college that Bennett attended.

But one other witness questioned in the probe, Democratic strategist Lis Smith, was requested by an investigator about “a text message from Chris Cuomo forwarding a purported set of documents concerning Charlotte Bennett from her time at college.”

“It looks like tweets, like he’s sending tweets about something,” replied Smith, who was Andrew Cuomo’s spokeswoman when he ran for re-election in 2018, and who was advising the governor’s workforce methods to take care of the sexual harassment claims earlier this 12 months.

The investigator then requested Smith “There is a [redacted] against [redacted] that involves Charlotte Bennett, do you see that in the tweet?”

“Yeah,” replied Smith, who later added that they didn’t bear in mind Chris Cuomo passing alongside the tweet, or being concerned in any discussions about that.

Chris Cuomo advised investigators that tapped individuals he referred to as “sources” for details about allegations in opposition to his brother. He additionally stated he talked to these sources about yet-to-be-published information tales.

“I would – when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Cuomo advised investigators.

Ratings for Cuomo’s nightly present, “Cuomo Prime Time,” have been comparatively robust, however just lately they fell to a low level.

NCS announced earlier this month that the present averaged 826,000 in whole viewers this month, “delivering the network’s highest rated program in total viewers.” The Wrap reported per week after the scores announcement that Cuomo’s program had hit an all-time low in the scores.