CNN fires Chris Cuomo for helping brother deal with scandal
By DAVID BAUDER and MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — CNN fired anchor Chris Cuomo on Saturday after details emerged about how he assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the politician faced sexual harassment allegations earlier this year.
The network suspended Chris Cuomo earlier in the week to investigate his conduct, after New York’s attorney general released details showing he was more involved than previously known in helping to strategize and reach out to other journalists as his brother fought to keep his job.
CNN hired a law firm for the review. The firm recommended Chris Cuomo’s termination and CNN chief Jeff Zucker informed the anchor of the decision on Saturday.
The network said that “while in the process of that review, additional information has come to light.” CNN would not discuss that information, or characterize whether it had anything to do with his brother.
“It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved,” Zucker said in an email to CNN staff on Saturday.
Cuomo issued a statement on Twitter calling the decision disappointing.
“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot,” he said.
As women came forward accusing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, his brother, despite being a CNN anchor, pressed sources for information on the accusers and reported back to the governor’s staff on what he was learning.
He was active in helping craft their response to the charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for state Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Chris Cuomo previously acknowledged talking to his brother and offering advice when the governor faced harassment charges. But more detail has emerged about the help he gave. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.