Chris Cuomo on Monday night finally broke his on-air silence about his brother’s sexual harassment scandal and subequent resignation — claiming network rules prevented him from covering the groundbreaking news.
“I never covered my brother’s troubles because I obviously have conflict, and there are rules at CNN about that,” Cuomo said at the end of his 9 p.m. show.
“My position has never changed. I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program.”
The CNN host’s comments come after he spent the last week on vacation as his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced his resignation following a damning official report by state Attorney General Letitia James that concluded he sexually harassed several women.
Chris Cuomo had faced scrutiny for failing to address the governor’s spiraling scandal and for his role advising his brother after the sexual harassment claims surfaced earlier this year.
On Monday night, he downplayed the conversations he had with his sibling during that time as simply brotherly advice.
“I never reported on the scandal. And when it happened, I tried to be there for my brother. I’m not an advisor, I’m a brother. I wasn’t in control of anything. I was there to listen, offer my take,” he said on air.
Despite the acknowledged conflict of interest, Chris Cuomo frequently had the governor on his show during the height of the pandemic — and the two would poke fun at each other and exchange in often cringeworthy banter.
In one show, Chris Cuomo joked about the size of his the governor’s nose, holding up an oversized cotton swab that he joked could have been used on the governor for his COVID-19 test.
“I said last year that his appearances on this show would be short lived,” the younger Cuomo said Monday night. “And they were. The last was over a year ago, long before any kind of scandal.”
“I also said back then that a day would come when he would have to be held to account and I can’t do that,” the CNN host said.
He also admitted that he urged his brother to resign, saying it “was something I never imagined having to do.”
Last May, Chris Cuomo apologized on-air to his network colleagues for putting them in a bad spot, but said he never tried to influence the cable network’s coverage of the governor — remarks he repeated again on Monday.
The news anchor has on multiple occasions been dragged into the spotlight amid his sibling’s downfall.
His role in helping craft his the governor’s response to the accusations was mentioned in the AG report.
He was also reportedly the beneficiary of some VIP benefits from his older brother — who allegedly gave special treatment to family members and friends during the early days of the pandemic a year ago.
An aide to New York’s health commissioner reportedly administered a COVID-19 test to Chris Cuomo at his Long Island home last March and rushed it to a state laboratory for processing.