New documents show CNN’s Chris Cuomo strategized with brother Andrew over allegations

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NEW YORK — CNN anchor Chris Cuomo had a bigger role than ever in helping protect his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from the sexual assault allegations that ousted him from office, newly released Show tapes and text messages.

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According to material made public on Monday, the TV journalist offered to reach out to “sources”, including other journalists, to find out if more women were going to come forward and what her brother’s advisers were listening to. , relayed to him.

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He also feuded with the former governor’s aides over the strategy, urging an apologetic tone and criticizing an opening statement he saw as playing down the charges. He accused a top aide of hiding information from his brother.

At the same time, Chris Cuomo told investigators that he spoke regularly with his brother, training him on his response and advising him for “bad decisions.”

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Chris Cuomo previously acknowledged that acting as his brother’s unofficial adviser was a “mistake”, but the full extent of his involvement – which includes using journalistic contacts to oust the accusers – was limited only by investigators. And that became clear with the Monday release of his July interview with 169 pages. of text messages, emails and other communications.

“I was worried it wasn’t being handled properly, and it’s not my job to handle it, right?” Chris Cuomo told investigators, according to the transcript. “I don’t work for the governor.”

Andrew Cuomo resigned in august To avoid a possible impeachment trial, an investigation led by state Attorney General Letitia James found he sexually assaulted at least 11 women.

Chris Cuomo, host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” said he never reported his brother’s condition to the network and never tried to influence coverage. On-air in August, he said: “I tried to do the right thing,” adding that “nothing was under control.”

CNN issued a statement saying that the tapes and performances “deserved an in-depth review and consideration.”

“We will hold talks and seek additional clarity about their importance as they relate to CNN over the next several days,” it said.

Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, said journalists should understand they are working for the public, not politicians.

Curtley said the extent of Chris Cuomo’s advice to his brother is unfair, and since they are brothers, “maybe it is time for him to find another line of work.”

He urged CNN, which is owned by AT&T T, to
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To address the matter immediately, saying: “You can’t act like it’s not happening. You are a news organization.”

Monday’s release reveals Chris Cuomo is becoming frustrated with his brother’s counselors as he scrambles to respond as more women come forward with allegations of harassment.

The anchor pressed for greater involvement in preparing his brother’s message and offered his journalistic investigative team to find out what the other allegations might be.

On March 4, Chris Cuomo texted the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, saying, “I have a lead on the wedding girl,” referring to a woman who accused her brother of making unwanted touches at a wedding reception. was accused.

On March 7, as rumors spread that more women were to come forward, DeRosa wrote to Chris Cuomo: “Can you check your sources.” He replied, “On this.”

“When asked, I will reach out to sources, other reporters, to see if they’ve heard of anyone else coming out,” Chris Cuomo said in a July statement.

In one instance, Chris Cuomo said that he called a reporter who regularly worked with reporter Ronan Farrow to get information about Farrow’s upcoming article, and did not tell anyone at CNN that he what was he doing He told DeRosa that the article was not yet ready for publication.

In a March 10 text message, Chris Cuomo lashed out at DeRosa and accused him of possessing information from his brother after the Albany Times-Union published an interview with an accuser.

“Stop hiding-,” wrote Chris Cuomo. “We’re making mistakes we can’t stand.”

When asked about that text in his statement, Chris Cuomo explained that he was telling her: “Don’t tell things to Andrew.”

“There were conversations that he was not a part of, I thought it was important for him to stay very close on these,” Chris Cuomo testified.

This latest batch of investigative material released by James’ office includes video of Andrew Cuomo’s statement from July — a transcript was made public about three weeks ago — and transcripts or videos of interviews with several Cuomo colleagues and advisers.

James’ office said it did not initially release these because local prosecutors were reviewing them for possible criminal conduct. After filing a criminal complaint against Cuomo last month, granting him access to the materials through search, James’ office said it would make them public “in an effort to provide complete transparency.”

James’ office said the release was being made on a rolling basis – first on Monday and November 10, along with transcripts of the former governor and accusers along with his brother, aides and other figures – for reforms to protect personal privacy. to allow time.

DeRosa recalled confronting Andrew Cuomo during a car ride away about the allegations in his interview released Monday. She told investigators that after an accuser came forward, they decided that Cuomo would no longer be left alone with junior staff.

When asked about his exchange with Chris Cuomo, DeRosa testified: “I spoke to Chris regularly. He was on some of the calls that we did, and he gave us advice on how to respond. “

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