On his first night back from vacation, CNN’s Chris Cuomo ended Monday's Cuomo Prime Time by addressing his part in the scandal involving his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is set to step down amid multiple sexual-harassment allegations. Cuomo said from the very beginning that he would not report on his brother’s scandal because he wouldn’t be able to be impartial, garnering derision by some in the media.
“I said point blank I can’t be objective when it comes to my family,” Cuomo said. “So 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 and offer my take.”
Cuomo admitted in May to advising his brother as the scandal worsened, but was asked by CNN to no longer take part in those discussions, which Cuomo agreed to. On Monday, he revealed details about the advice he offered, and corroborated reports that he had urged his brother to resign.
“My advice to my brother was simple and consistent,” Cuomo said. “Own what you did, tell people what you'll do to be better, be contrite and finally, accept that it doesn't matter what you intended. What matters is how your actions and words were perceived. And yes, while it was something I never imagined ever having to do, I did urge my brother to resign when the time came.”
Cuomo became an easy target for some in the media looking to discredit him due to his proximity to his brother’s scandal, but claims neither his nor CNN’s journalistic integrity was ever compromised. It should be noted that others at the network reported extensively on the situation.
“There are stories and critics saying all kinds of things about me, many unsupported. But know this, my position has never changed,” Cuomo said. “I never misled anyone about the information I was delivering or not delivering on this program. 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. I never influenced or attempted to control CNN's coverage of my family.”
Cuomo went on to acknowledge the extraordinary situation in which he found himself.
“It was a unique situation being a brother to a politician in a scandal and being part of the media,” Cuomo said. “I tried to do the right thing, and I just want you all to know that. As I've said, we have rules here at CNN that prevent me from reporting on my brother. They remain in place and will continue to.”
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