CNN anchor Chris Cuomo participated in adviser meetings with his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some of the senior aides who helped cover up the state’s nursing home scandal to determine the administration’s response to the sexual harassment allegations against him, the Washington Post reports.
Chris reportedly joined multiple conversations with his Democratic brother’s team to discuss and review how the governor should respond to the accusations.
“The cable news anchor encouraged his brother to take a defiant position and not to resign from the governor’s office, the people said. At one point, he used the phrase ‘cancel culture’ as a reason to hold firm in the face of the allegations, two people present on one call said,” WaPo stated.
CNN acknowledged Chris’s wrongdoing in a statement to WaPo but said they would not discipline him for the conflict of interest.
“Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo — on-air or behind the scenes. 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,” CNN said. “However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
Chris repeatedly ran interference for his brother in the early months of the pandemic by joking around on live television and refusing to ask him questions about the rising nursing home death toll that resulted from the governor’s deadly policy. The anchor repeatedly brought his brother on his show during the peak of the governor’s response to COVID-19 in 2020, but now claims any further coverage of the family member would be a conflict of interest.
“Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother. And obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother,” Cuomo told his audience just a few months ago. “Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”
In addition to offering his brother friendly airtime, Chris also benefitted from the special COVID-19 testing privileges the Democrat governor afforded to his family and other “well-connected figures” in the state.