CNN finally took action against Chris Cuomo on Tuesday after a series of text messages exposed the anchor’s attempts to help cover up his brother’s sexual misconduct scandal earlier this year.
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” a CNN spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman offered sympathy for “the unique position [Chris] was in” and said the network “understood his need to put family first and job second.” Ultimately, however, the spokesman said Chris’s actions warranted an indefinite suspension “pending further evaluation.”
In the text exchange with former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa, the “Cuomo Prime Time” host begged to “please let me help with the prep” and accused her of mishandling the public relations cleanup after a barrage of sexual harassment accusations were launched against the governor.
“We are making mistakes we can’t afford,” he said.
In addition to assisting the downplay campaign by the governor’s office, Chris offered to check with his journalist connections on the status of more accusers coming forward and pass that information along to DeRosa.
“Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow,” DeRosa texted. “Can u check your sources?”
“On it,” Chris replied, then writing back 40 minutes later, “No one has heard that yet.”
Despite CNN’s efforts to reportedly punish Chris by taking him off the air for a bit, the network happily glossed over his cushy relationship with his Democrat-star brother for months and allowed the duo to engage in prolonged “comedy” bits on-air while thousands perished due to the governor’s COVID-19 nursing home policy.
As noted by The Federalist’s Tristan Justice, “the anchor had already been caught by the Washington Post engaging in ‘strategy calls’ advising his brother amid scandals,” but he did not face backlash from his network until public pressure mounted following the release of the text messages.
Chris also falsely claimed in August, “I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”