CNN anchor and host of “Cuomo Prime Time” Chris Cuomo is still advising his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on his response to the still-ongoing sexual harassment scandal, the Washington Post reported Monday.
According to the Post, Andrew Cuomo is “left with few advisers” after a damning independent study commissioned by New York Attorney General Leticia James found he “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees.”
At least a dozen women have accused Gov. Cuomo of inappropriate behavior. The report also found that the governor violated laws, created a hostile work environment, harassed staffers and retaliated after being publicly accused. Cuomo denies all accusations.
According to the Washington Post people who still are on the governor’s side are Charlie King, a public relations lobbyist, and his brother Chris Cuomo. The governor is reportedly increasingly reclusive and remains “ensconced” in the Albany, Ny. governor’s mansion, conducting his work from home.
Chris has advised his brother on strategies for handling the issue from the start and even testified in the state’s investigation. CNN reportedly offered him “temporary leave” from his show to advise his brother, but Chris refused and continues to host the primetime spot — though he’s made no mention of this brother’s scandal except in March when he said he wouldn’t address it at all, citing ethical considerations.
CNN referenced a statement it made about the issue in May and told TheWrap, “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. 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.”
The network also pointed to a Feb. 16 statement that read, “the early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time. We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest. As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively.”
Chris is off this week; he announced on Friday he’d depart from the show for a week to celebrate his Aug. 9 birthday. He noted he “always” takes that week off, and while it might seem odd timing, TheWrap confirmed that this is standard practice for the host.
While several close allies have quit, and all leading Democrats, including president Joe Biden, have called on him to resign, Andrew Cuomo has so far refused to step down as governor.
“He is in denial. It would be a waste of time to even try to talk to him at this point,” a “longtime adviser” to Andrew Cuomo told the Washington Post. The Post also noted that Andrew “thinks he can disprove” allegations and claims in the report, but didn’t note how he plans to do that.