CNN’s announcement about Chris Cuomo‘s termination on Saturday has raised questions over a mention of “additional information” that emerged during a review of the anchor’s conduct.
The network suspended the anchor on Tuesday after New York’s attorney general released new details showing that he was more involved than previously known in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he faced sexual harassment allegations earlier this year.
It was announced on Saturday that he had been fired.
“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense,” CNN said in a statement.
“We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in that process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”
#BREAKING: I am not making this up — Jim Acosta was on the air when CNN announced that they fired Chris Cuomo, leaving him to break the news to viewers alongside Brian Stelter
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 4, 2021
CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter discussed the matter with anchor Jim Acosta on the network on Saturday, saying his former colleague had violated journalistic ethics and norms “not once or twice, but many times.”
Stelter said the recently released information shows Chris Cuomo was “basically acting like a staffer” as his brother fought to keep his job. “And he was doing that at the same time he was working for CNN,” he added.
He also brought up the “additional information” mentioned in the network’s statement.
“Just to be completely transparent with the audience, it says there’s additional information that also came to light sometime this week,” Stelter said. “We don’t know what that is. I’ve asked. There’s no answers coming on what that could be.”
Acosta then asked: “Do we know when this new information might be brought out to the public and will have a sense as to what this additional information was?”
Stelter replied: “I don’t know actually if it ever will. I think that’s very much unclear.”
Fellow journalists and others curious about the “additional information” took to Twitter to call on CNN to disclose it publicly.
“I reallllllllly want to know what is the ‘additional information’ that CNN got on Chris Cuomo,” journalist Emily Miller tweeted.
Josh Jordan added: “CNN casually dropping ‘additional information has come to light’ on the Chris Cuomo firing is the most newsworthy part of the release… Release the ‘additional information’ CNN cut!”
And Judd Legum, author of the Popular Information newsletter, wrote: “CNN says it is now firing Cuomo because ‘additional information has come to light.’ What additional information? CNN does not say. Seems like now is the time for transparency.”
The New York Times has reported that Debra Katz, a prominent employment lawyer, on Wednesday informed CNN of a client with a sexual misconduct allegation against Chris Cuomo that was “unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter.”
It was not clear what role that allegation played in the network’s decision to terminate the anchor, according to the newspaper.
Chris Cuomo’s spokesman Steven Goldberg told the Times: “These apparently anonymous allegations are not true.”
Goldberg said Chris Cuomo “fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”
In a statement on Twitter after his firing, Chris Cuomo said: “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 slow. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
CNN, Chris Cuomo’s spokesman and Katz have been contacted for comment.
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