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CNN to review documents showing Chris Cuomo's role advising brother

The Hill
The Hill
 2021-11-30
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CNN says it will conduct a "thorough review" of documents showing the role prime-time anchor Chris Cuomo played in advising his brother Andrew Cuomo , the former governor of New York, as the Democrat defended himself from accusations of sexual misconduct.

News of the internal review came hours after the New York attorney general's office released additional documents regarding its investigation of the former governor, who resigned under pressure in August after the state Attorney General Letitia James (D) detailed allegations against him from nearly a dozen women.

CNN said in a statement issued on Monday that "the thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration."

"We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days," the network said.

Included in the documents released Monday are transcripts of interviews with investigators and the content of text messages sent between the anchor and his brother's top aides, who were scrambling to defend the governor after 11 women came forward saying he had sexually harassed them.

In one text message exchange in March, Melissa DeRosa, one of the former governor's closest confidants, asking Chris Cuomo to "check with his sources" in the news media about additional women coming forward against the governor.

"On it," Cuomo replied, the documents show.

In another text message, Cuomo asked DeRosa to "please let me help" with prepping the governor's response to the allegations.

After news reports revealed Cuomo — who hosts a prime-time show on one of the nation's leading cable news networks — had participated in crisis public relations sessions with the governor's team, the anchor apologized, telling viewers it was a mistake to do so.

"I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program. 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. I never influenced or attempted to control CNN’s coverage of my family," Cuomo said in August. "And as you know, back in May when I was told to no longer communicate with my brother’s aides in any group meetings, I acknowledged it was a mistake, I apologized to my colleagues, I stopped, and I meant it."

When news of the anchor's involvement in his brother's public relations efforts was first reported, CNN President Jeff Zucker said Cuomo “made a mistake” but declined to suspend him.

Cuomo did not acknowledge the newly released transcripts or text messages during his program on Monday after saying during his on-air statement in August those remarks would be his "final word on it."

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