CNN offered Chris Cuomo ‘leave of absence’ to advise brother Andrew: report

CNN offered Chris Cuomo ‘leave of absence’ to advise brother Andrew: report

Officials at CNN reportedly offered network host Chris Cuomo a “leave of absence” to advise brother Governor Andrew Cuomo amid his ongoing sexual-harassment scandal.

The idea was not a request, but rather an option that was floated after Chris Cuomo’s involvement in the governor’s strategic planning sessions was first uncovered in May, The New York Times reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

In response, Chris Cuomo, who reportedly makes $6 million a year, told the network that he wanted to continue in his primetime slot, and said he would obey rules that prevented him from commenting on the scandal, according to The Times.

Chris also vowed not to discuss his brother’s crisis-response strategy with anyone but Andrew Cuomo himself, according to the paper.

Around the same time that the exchange over the potential leave of absence reportedly occurred, Chris issued an apology to his viewers, saying on “Cuomo Prime Time” that he was “truly sorry” for taking part in his brother’s planning calls.

Chris Cuomo has apologized for taking part in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's planning calls in the past.
Chris Cuomo has apologized for taking part in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s planning calls in the past.
Getty Images for HBO

“I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that and I am sorry for that,” he said.

The revelation of the offered accommodation comes after Attorney General Letitia James reported Tuesday that Chris was given confidential and privileged information by the Executive Chamber, and appeared to draft or edit a proposed statement on the governor’s behalf.

According to The Times, Chris Cuomo’s failure to address the AG’s report on his Tuesday evening show has irked some of his colleagues at CNN.

Some CNN journalists privately “expressed dismay” over Chris’ handling of the report, The Times reported, while others argued that CNN should have disciplined him.

When the anchor’s involvement in the governor’s war room was initially reported, CNN anchor Jake Tapper was reportedly among his colleague’s critics, telling The Times that the situation “put us in a bad spot.”

Chris vowed not to discuss his brother’s crisis-response strategy with anyone but Andrew Cuomo himself, according to the NYT.
REUTERS
Chris Cuomo apologizing to his viewers on CNN for inappropriately advising his brother Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal.
Chris Cuomo apologizing to his viewers on CNN for inappropriately advising his brother Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal.
CNN

“I cannot imagine a world in which anybody in journalism thinks that that was appropriate,” Tapper reportedly said in May.

Media pundits and journalists outside the network have also said CNN should fire Chris Cuomo, with some pointing out it was just last year when the brothers were hamming it up on the network during the height of New York City’s COVID-19 crisis.

Chris Cuomo is seen arriving at the heliport in New York amidst the sexual accusations against his brother Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo is seen arriving at the heliport in New York amidst the sexual accusations against his brother Andrew Cuomo.
Elder Ordonez / SplashNews.com

“If CNN, from the start, had just said: Chris Cuomo cannot objectively report on his brother and therefore will abstain and others will do it, that would have been fine,” reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted Wednesday.

“Instead, they cheered as he heaped praise on his brother and touted him as a future President.”

“Don’t ever forget while Andrew Cuomo was killing elderly people and horrifically sexually abusing women – this is how he was interviewed on @CNN – a comedy show with giant q tip props,” former “The View” host Meghan McCain wrote Tuesday.

“Governor Cuomo should resign and his brother, the purported journalist who advised him on strategy regarding these allegations, should step down or be fired from his position at CNN,” writer Saaed Jones tweeted Tuesday.

CNN has not issued a statement about its prime time anchor’s role in the sexual harassment probe, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Latest Category Posts