One day after new reports detailed his involvement with his brother’s efforts to remain in office after multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Chris Cuomo has been suspended by CNN. According to the network, the decision comes as a direct result of the newly released transcripts from the New York attorney general’s office, which suggested the host of Cuomo Prime Time had used his status as a journalist to investigate the women accusing his brother, former governor Andrew Cuomo, of harassment. (Andrew Cuomo has long denied any wrongdoing, but he did resign on August 10.)
On Monday, the day the new transcripts were published, CNN released a statement saying that it was reviewing the documents and would “be having conversations and seeking additional clarity.” That “clarity,” it seems, has led to Chris Cuomo’s official suspension.
“The New York attorney general’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions,” CNN said in a statement on Tuesday. After explaining why it had decided to keep Cuomo on the air after original reporting suggested he had consulted with his brother on how to handle the accusations in the media, the network continued, “These documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
Video: 'The Five' react to CNN's Chris Cuomo digging up information for Andrew Cuomo, according to texts (FOX News)
Both CNN and its viewers have known for months that Cuomo was involved in coaching his brother’s response to allegations of sexual harassment. In May, reports emerged that Cuomo had advised the then-governor of New York not to resign amid the many accusations of inappropriate conduct. At the time, Cuomo downplayed his involvement with his brother’s PR strategy and apologized on air for what many considered to have been a breach of journalistic ethics. “It will not happen again. It was a mistake,” he said at the time.
After the former governor resigned in August, Cuomo once again took to the airwaves to clarify his role, stressing that he was “not an advisor” to his brother’s team and declaring, “I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.” In light of the new documents, these statements have come under question.
Cuomo has yet to comment on his suspension, and it’s unclear what this means for the future of his nightly news show. On Tuesday, CNN confirmed that Anderson Cooper would anchor the evening hour as an extension of his own show, Anderson Cooper 360, but did not specify as to whether this would extend beyond the night.
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