CNN's Chris Cuomo leveraged his sources to help brother Andrew through pandemic, assault allegations

Cuomo said back in August that he only advised his brother to step down from his role as New York goverrnor

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published November 29, 2021 6:17PM (EST)

Andrew Cuomo and Chris Cuomo (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Andrew Cuomo and Chris Cuomo (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo reportedly took advantage of his own sources in order to help advise his brother, Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York, through his handling of the outbreak of the COVID pandemic and while the elder Cuomo was facing allegations of sexual harassment. 

Texts uncovered by a state probe and transcript of Chris Cuomo's interview with investigators reveal that Chris Cuomo played a much larger role in the behind-the-scenes effort to preserve his brother's reputation than was previously known. 

According to a CNBC report, Chris Cuomo was in direct communication with his brother's former top aide, Melissa DeRosa, as early as March, when new allegations were continuing to make headlines.

"Please let me help with the prep," Chris Cuomo wrote to DeRosa in a text message dating back to March 3.  

In another exchange, DeRosa reportedly wrote to Chris Cuomo about a "rumor going around from politico" regarding "1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow," an apparent reference to Andrew Cuomo's soon-to-be accusers. 

"No one has heard that yet," Chris Cuomo responded to her. 

Days later, Chris Cuomo sent DeRosa an apparent draft of a statement that was to be read aloud by his brother addressing the allegations: 

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"I understand why they have to say what they are saying. I understand the political pressure I understand the stakes of political warfare, and that's what this is. ... And I understand the conformity that can be forced by cancel culture."

Chris Cuomo also told investigators that he leveraged "sources" who had unique insights into allegations that had not yet been made public. "I would – when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out," he told investigators.

RELATED: Chris Cuomo's insulting sexual harassment apology shows just how little he thinks of women

One source, Chris Cuomo added, speculated that a Cuomo accuser, Anna Ruch, "had been put up to it," suggesting that Ruch's allegations were part of an inside job. 

Back in August, Chris Cuomo claimed that he advised his brother to resign, adding that he played no hand in his network's coverage of the scandal. 

"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," Cuomo stated. "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."

Responding to the newest allegations on Monday, a CNN representative said the network will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity" from its lead primetime host. 

Andrew Cuomo officially stepped down on August 10. 

RELATED: "I did urge my brother to resign": CNN host Chris Cuomo reacts to brother Andrew Cuomo's resignation

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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