Chris Cuomo on CNN Suspension: 'It's Embarrassing, But I Understand It'
The news network "indefinitely" suspended Chris Cuomo over his alleged involvement in his brother's—former governor Andrew Cuomo—sexual misconduct scandal.
Image via Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris
Chris Cuomo admits his recent suspension from CNN is “embarrassing,” but understandable.
The 51-year-old broke his silence during his SiriusXM radio show, Let’s Get After It, on Wednesday, fresh off the network’s decision to sideline the primetime anchor “indefinitely.” CNN made the announcement after the New York Attorney’s General’s Office released documents that showed Chris Cuomo was heavily involved in helping his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, defend himself against sexual misconduct allegations.
“Quick note, the obvious,” Cuomo said at the beginning of the program. “I’ve been suspended from CNN. You know this already. It hurts to even say it, it’s embarrassing, but I understand it and I understand why some people feel the way they do about what I did. I’ve apologized in the past and I mean it. It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do, was compromise any of my colleagues and do anything but help. I know they have a process that they think is important. I respect that process, so I’m not gonna talk about this anymore than that. So for right now, let’s just get after it, and there’s plenty to do on that score.”
Chris Cuomo previously acknowledged he had helped coach his brother during the sexual harassment scandal, but insisted he never “made calls to the press” about the situation, nor did he try to “control CNN’s coverage of my family.”
“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, and I stopped, and I meant it,” he said in August, following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor. “It was a unique situation being a brother to a politician in a scandal and being part of the media. I tried doing the right thing, and I just want you all to know that.”
However, documents released by the AG’s office on Monday indicate Chris Cuomo played a much larger role in helping his brother combat the misconduct allegations as well as mounting backlash. The trove of emails, text exchanges, and interview transcripts showed Chris Cuomo had used his media sources to dig up information on the elder Cuomo’s accusers as well as any reports that may have shown the former governor in a bad light. Documents indicate he would then share those details with Andrew Cuomo’s aides.
“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 spokesperson said this week. “But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”