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CNN says that “it was inappropriate” for primetime anchor Chris Cuomo to participate in calls with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and his brother’s staff, as they sought to push back on sexual harassment claims leveled against the politician.
According to The Washington Post, which broke the story, the CNN anchor participated on “strategy” calls with his brother, as well as crisis consultants and members of his brother’s staff, in the wake of multiple claims of harassment or inappropriate behavior by the governor. Specifically, the CNN anchor said that “cancel culture” may have been a factor in the claims.
“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,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
Chris Cuomo addressed the matter on his program Thursday evening, saying, “I am family first, job second,” he said. “It was a mistake, because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that, I would never intend for that, and I’m sorry for that.”
In a statement after the story broke Thursday afternoon, the women’s group UltraViolet said that the move wasn’t enough by CNN. “CNN should immediately suspend Chris Cuomo and conduct a thorough investigation into whether or not his position of authority at the network has impacted how others covered the allegations against his brother,” the organization said.
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