Chris Cuomo Was Reportedly A Lot More Involved In His Brother’s Sexual Harassment Defense Than He Claimed To Be

When you have a plum gig at a major news network and your brother, a big time politician, is involved in sexual misconduct scandals, there may be some conflicts of interest. Such is the case with Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor and brother of disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August. Throughout his sibling’s scandal, Chris tried to keep schtum, eventually maintaining that he’d kept his personal and professional lives relatively separate. He claimed he’d been a mere sounding board, there “to listen and to offer my take.” But that’s not exactly true, according to a new report.

A new New York Times piece sifts through some newly released records, and they concluded that Chris Cuomo was very much a part of his brother’s defense team. Starting with the first accusation, from former aide Lindsey Boylan, they sought, as per NYT, to “manipulate the press, discredit his accusers and retain a grip on power that became less and less tenable.”

Chris, who argued “strenuously” against Andrew’s resignation, at least before the investigation concluded, even demanding taking on a bigger role. He reportedly saw himself as a “satellite” of his brother’s “more formal advisers.” He even phoned into strategy meetings, even as he was going on CNN and claiming he was keeping a relative distance from the scandal.

“At one point,” NYT reports, “he even ran down a secondhand tip that another woman accusing the governor of unwanted advances at a wedding was lying. (She was not.)”

He reportedly went further than that:

For example, when Ms. DeRosa was trying to keep tabs in early March on journalists working to uncover stories of harassment, she turned to Chris Cuomo for intelligence.

“On it,” Mr. Cuomo wrote back after one such request. A few days later, Ms. DeRosa wrote to the governor’s brother that she had heard Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker was “getting ready to move” a story. “Can u check your sources?”

He even reportedly used his investigative skills to dig up dirt:

And he used his contacts to try to aid the defense in other ways. After The New York Times reported in early March that the governor had made an unwanted advance on a young woman at a wedding, Chris Cuomo had texted Ms. DeRosa to say, “I have a lead on the wedding girl,” who he believed had been acting maliciously to damage the governor.

The lead turned out to be bunk, he told investigators.

CNN has so far not responded to NYT for comment on their employee’s alleged actions. But it’s worth noting that there’s one person who thought Chris Cuomo aiding his brother was sound journalistic practice: Tucker Carlson.

(Via NYT)