On his SiriusXM radio show Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo addressed the searing criticism of his covert attempt to guide his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), through a sexual harassment scandal, saying he felt embarrassed.
The star news anchor was indefinitely suspended from CNN on Tuesday after a fuller picture of his direct efforts to help his brother came to light.
“It hurts to even say it. It’s embarrassing. But I understand it,” he said on “Let’s Get After 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 went on. “It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do, is compromise any of my colleagues.”
“I know they have a process that they think is important. I respect that process. So I’m not going to talk about this any more than that,” he concluded.
Several women said Andrew Cuomo maintained a hostile work environment and made unwanted sexual advances including groping and kissing while in office. He resigned in August after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a damning report summarizing her investigation into his conduct.
A trove of documents related to the inquiry became public this week.
Text messages and emails revealed that Chris Cuomo was regularly in touch with his brother’s aides and pleaded with them to let him help craft a response to the accusations. Perhaps most alarmingly, Cuomo attempted to use his journalistic connections to dig up details on the women accusing his brother of misconduct ― a brazen breach of ethics in journalism.
The Washington Post first reported Chris Cuomo’s involvement with his brother’s strategizing in May. The anchor promptly acknowledged it and apologized, calling his involvement “a mistake,” but CNN decided against disciplinary action at the time. The network had forbidden him from covering stories related to his brother earlier in the year.
The anchor also raised eyebrows for taking a hiatus from “Cuomo Prime Time” around the time of his brother’s resignation in August, but he managed to hold on to his prime-time spot until this week.
CNN said in a statement released Tuesday that network leadership was “not privy” to the documents from James’ office until they were posted online this week and that the records “raise serious questions.”
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second,” CNN said.
“However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew,” the statement continued. “As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”