Chris Cuomo has responded to his indefinite suspension by CNN, saying it is “embarrassing” and it “hurts,” but that he understands the decision. CNN made the announcement following the release of documents revealing his “greater level of involvement” in disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s scandal response.
Speaking on his SiriusXM radio show, Chris said: “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.” He added that “it’s the last thing I ever wanted to do, is compromising any of my colleagues.”
Chris said he respects “the process” CNN is implementing in reviewing the matter.
In a statement Tuesday, the media company said the documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday “point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew” and as a result, CNN suspended its star anchor indefinitely.
The company said it was unaware of the evidence shown in James’ exhibits before the documents were publicized, which included emails and text messages exchanged between Chris and the former governor’s counsel as Andrew battled against sexual harassment allegations.
CNN initially stood by Chris in the chaotic months that followed a former aide’s sexual harassment claims against Andrew, especially after Chris previously admitted his “mistake” of providing advice to his brother’s political aides.
Monday’s revelations raised questions about whether CNN adhered to journalistic standards that separated lawmakers and journalists, The New York Times reported.
In the exhibits released by the New York AG’s office, it was revealed that Chris repeatedly offered to give advice to Andrew’s aides. A text sent in March showed how he offered to “help with the prep.” Chris also offered to approach “sources” to determine if there were other women who would join the list of women accusing his brother of sexual harassment.
One particular exchange in the exhibits revealed that Andrew’s former aide Melissa DeRosa asked Chris if he heard about a rumor regarding news outlet Politico’s work on an article detailing the accusations. Chris responded, “on it” to DeRosa’s query.
CNN’s lead anchor for Washington, Jake Tapper, told The Times in May that Chris’ actions “put us in a bad spot.” Tapper added that while he understands “the love that Chris has for his brother,” he “cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate.”
Andrew has denied all allegations from multiple women who accused him of sexual harassment. The ex-governor was forced to resign in disgrace in August as he faced mounting criticism over the allegations.
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