In a stunning revelation of conflict of interest in and about the liberal media, CNN's Chris Cuomo took part in strategy calls about how his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo should respond to reports of sexual harassment of women, The Washington Post reported in an exclusive Thursday.
Chris Cuomo, a primetime host on CNN, advised his brother and senior members of the governor's staff on how to respond to multiple allegations of sexual harassment, four sources told the Post.
CNN even acknowledged the participation of their host in the calls, noting it was "inappropriate," but said he will not be disciplined, the Post reported.
"Chris has not been involved in CNN's extensive coverage of the allegations against Gov. Cuomo — on air or behind the scenes," CNN told the Post in a statement. "In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.
"However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the governor's staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will not participate in such conversations going forward."
Among the advice given to his older brother, Chris Cuomo, 13 years his junior, told his brother to remain defiant against the allegations and to not resign as governor. The sources said Chris Cuomo even used the term "cancel culture" as a reason to remain resolved in discrediting the allegations made against the governor.
"If you are actively advising a politician in trouble while being an on-air host on a news network, that's not O.K.," Columbia Journalism School professor Nicholas Lemann, a staffer for The New Yorker, told the Post.
Removing host Chris Cuomo from covering Gov. Cuomo's allegations of misconduct ostensibly kept CNN from having to cover the scandal in the pivotal 9 p.m. ET hour on "Cuomo Prime Time" – despite its serious nature and national political importance – shielding the top Democrat from scrutiny on one of party's most favored media outlets.
"Obviously, I am aware of what is going on with my brother," Chris Cuomo told viewers March 1, when a third accuser came forward and before a handful of others. "And obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so. I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just want to tell you that."
Chris Cuomo took no such issue last year with having profusely praised his older brother's response in New York to the coronavirus, including lockdowns and a heavily criticized – by conservatives at least – nursing home mandate that required long-term care facilities to take in COVID-19 positive patients into their vulnerable communities.
Notably, issues of sexual harassment of women have been political hot-button topics during unsubstantiated attacks on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and claims made against former President Donald Trump in political attacks during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
CNN's coverage of Kavanaugh and Trump both presented critical takes in making repeated denials, something Chris Cuomo is not ostensibly absolved from.
"There were a few phone conversations, with friends and advisers giving the governor advice," Gov. Cuomo's spokesman Rich Azzopardi told the Post.
Chris Cuomo was also closely connected to his brother in providing advice on the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.
"The governor only trusts about five people," a source told the Post. "So that's why Chris is on these calls."
Among the allegations levied against Gov. Cuomo are at least seven women allege inappropriate comments or inappropriate touching. Taking his brother's advice, the governor vows to fight the allegations even when the investigative results are released.
"I'm not going anywhere," a Post source quote Gov. Cuomo as saying in a recent phone call.
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