Chris Cuomo under fire at CNN over texts showing the lengths he went to aid bro Andrew amid sex scandal

0
24
Transcibed text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa Derosa are included in a report released by the New York Attorney General’s Office Monday. (NY Attorney General).

Chris Cuomo told investigators that he tried to keep Alec Baldwin
from advocating on behalf of his embattled brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, by speaking out against “cancel culture.”

A devastating cache of documents from the sexual harassment probe that forced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo from office now reveals how extensively his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, was involved in efforts to respond to the scandal.

The newly revealed trove of text messages and investigative interview transcripts, made public Monday, has now put the younger Cuomo’s future at the cable network in peril.

The materials show how desperately Chris Cuomo scrambled to try to help his brother — even reaching out to “sources” in the news industry for information — despite his public claim that all he did was “listen” and “offer my take.”

Late Monday afternoon, CNN finally broke its silence on the matter, the left-leaning network saying it was now reviewing the documents and suggesting the “Cuomo Prime Time” host’s future was hanging in the balance.

“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” the statement said.

“We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”

Among other things, the evidence compiled by Attorney General Letitia James shows that Chris Cuomo — who’s come under fire for advising his older brother how to respond to accusers and attack critics — told investigators that he tried to keep Alec Baldwin from advocating on Andrew Cuomo’s behalf.

Dozens of text messages also show Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, then Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, discussing how to respond to the scandal and his brother’s accusers.

Chris Cuomo went to great lengths to shield his brother amid Andrew’s sex harass scandal.
Chris Cuomo went to great lengths to shield his brother amid Andrew’s sex harass scandal.
Getty Images

At one point, on March 7, DeRosa wrote, “Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow.”

“Can u check your sources,” she added.

“On it,” Chris Cuomo responded, apparently willing to use his CNN resources to try and help out.

During sworn testimony on July 15, the younger Cuomo also admitted that he contacted “another journalist” — whom he didn’t name — for advance notice about the New Yorker magazine’s planned publication of an article about his brother by Ronan Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for helping to expose years of sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

“And did you tell anyone at CNN that you were contacting journalists about whether the Ronan Farrow piece about your brother would be coming out?” lawyer Jennifer Kennedy Park asked.

“No, not specifically,” Chris Cuomo answered.

Alec Baldwin spoke out about ‘cancel culture’ as Andrew Cuomo was facing sex harassment charges.

Kennedy Park then asked if it was “out of the ordinary” for him “to make calls on behalf of the executive chamber or behalf of your brother.”

“Well, I didn’t see it that way,” he said.

Chris Cuomo, who noted that Farrow had appeared on his CNN show, added: “I wasn’t going to call the person writing it… So the idea of one reporter calling another to find out about what’s coming down the pipe is completely business-as-usual.”

The messages and interview with investigators also show the younger Cuomo wrote out a statement he thought his brother should have made in response to harassment allegations by former aide Charlotte Bennett.

Transcibed text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa Derosa are included in a report released by the New York Attorney General’s Office Monday.

“Here’s what he should have said. `I have carefully considered Ms. Bennett’s statement and my own conduct. I don’t dispute that our conversation was as she reports,’” Chris Cuomo testified.

“‘I also do not dispute that my words and supervisory position may have created a hostile work environment. I apologize to Ms. Bennett and will promptly seek to personally communicate my apology to her. I also apologize to the people of New York State who have a right to better conduct for their governor. This will not happen again.’”

The Aug. 3 sexual harassment report issued against Andrew Cuomo by Attorney General Letitia James — who also released Monday’s material — revealed that Chris Cuomo got “confidential and often privileged information about state operations” while helping strategize his brother’s response to the allegations against him.

That detail sparked outrage among CNN employees, one of whom told Buzzfeed it was a “disgrace to journalism” that the younger Cuomo “wasn’t fired over his inappropriate conflict of interest.”

It was later revealed that Chris Cuomo told his brother to resign as governor, while the CNN host went on vacation amid the scandal, just days before Andrew made the decision to do so on Aug. 10.

The host of “Cuomo Prime Time” spoke to his sibling over the phone and explained that the governor could not survive the fallout from the James report, according to reporting from The New York Times and CNN media reporter Brian Stelter.

Alec Baldwin posted a 15-minute video in defense of then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, arguing that “people are angry and bitter” and “have a lot of times on their hands.”

The Times noted that while CNN had barred Chris from any further strategy sessions with Andrew Cuomo’s staff, it did not prohibit him from speaking with his brother about the scandal.

When he returned from vacation, on Aug. 16, Chris Cuomo used his 9 p.m. weeknight show to claim that network rules prohibited him from covering the blockbuster event — and tried to downplay his role in helping his brother.

“I never reported on the scandal. And when it happened, I tried to be there for my brother. I’m not an adviser, I’m a brother. I wasn’t in control of anything. I was there to listen, offer my take,” he said.

During his July 15 interview, Chris Cuomo testified that both he and his brother know Baldwin and that an unidentified “very good friend” called and told him, “Alec wants to talk about cancel culture or political correctness.’

“I asked him not to. I said, ‘Tell him to stay out of it. It’s not necessary,” Chris Cuomo said.

When asked why he didn’t want help from the former “30 Rock” star, ” Chris Cuomo said, “I wasn’t in favor of it happening because I didn’t think that Alec Baldwin weighing in on this one way or the other was necessarily helpful or respectful to the situation.”

But Baldwin — now embroiled in controversy over the fatal shooting on the set of his movie “Rust” — ignored the younger Cuomo’s request and in early March posted a nearly 15-minute video on Instagram.

In it, he ranted that “the cancel culture thing has revved up during COVID” because “people are angry and bitter” and “have a lot of times on their hands.”

Baldwin also appeared to reference the sexual harassment probe that later forced Andrew Cuomo from office, saying, “The attorney general is going to investigate accusations against a governor.”

“Then, and only then, can we talk about people resigning,” he added. Chris Cuomo testified that he “was not aware” of Baldwin’s video when his brother’s then-top aide, Melissa DeRosa, alerted him to a news report about it on March 7.

Records of Chris Cuomo’s testimony made public by Attorney General Letitia James revealed that Chris Cuomo “was not aware” of Alec Baldwin’s video.

“But I did know its origin,” he said.

The official transcript of Chris Cuomo’s “highly confidential,” sworn testimony was among the latest records made public by Attorney General Letitia James.

The material, from the sexual harassment probe James commissioned, also includes video recordings of DeRosa during two days of interviews.

James, who’s seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor next year, has said she’s releasing the material “to provide full transparency to the people of New York” in the wake of the misdemeanor charge filed against Andrew Cuomo last month.

Andrew Cuomo, 63, is accused of groping another aide, Brittany Commisso, 33, inside Albany’s Executive Mansion last year.

He resigned in August after James released a report that alleged he sexually harassed 11 women, including nine current or former state workers, during his two-plus terms as governor.

(NY Post).

Leave a Reply