Newly released documents from the New York Attorney General’s Office shed light on the lengths CNN host Chris Cuomo went through to help his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when allegations of sexual harassment emerged.
According to his testimony, Chris Cuomo actively tried to help his brother craft public relations messaging about the accusations. He also reached out to media contacts to get information about relevant developments concerning the elder Cuomo, who has publicly denied any wrongdoing.
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"I would never do oppo research on anybody alleging anything like this. I'm not in the oppo research business," Chris Cuomo said in response to questions about whether he used his sources to research the accusers. "I don't even know of any opposition research being done."
Chris Cuomo admitted to reaching out to journalists and "sources" to see if there might be additional complaints coming against his brother.
“I would — when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Chris Cuomo said.
He said he was in contact with his brother "at every inflection point." He was also in touch with some of Andrew Cuomo's staffers, including his top aide, Melissa DeRosa.
The documents released included text messages between Chris Cuomo and DeRosa, in which he asked to help "with the prep." Chris Cuomo even drafted messages for his brother to use.
In a text exchange between @ChrisCuomo and top Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, the CNN host asks to “please let me help with the prep” of his older brother’s sexual harassment defense and helps devise a PR strategy. pic.twitter.com/XnQ3W2axWE— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) November 29, 2021
Chris Cuomo said he discussed policy proposals with his brother during the elder Cuomo's tenure as governor and campaign-related issues when his brother ran for governor.
The description of when these conversations took place was vague, but it appears some of them occurred while Chris Cuomo worked at CNN.
Chris Cuomo's testimony also gave some insight into how Andrew Cuomo's allies viewed the investigation.
At one point during the questioning, Chris Cuomo suggested allies of Andrew Cuomo believed one of his accusers, Lindsay Boylan, had a contact who was friendly with the attorney general's office. Boylan accused Andrew Cuomo of kissing her without consent and of other sexual misconduct.
Chris Cuomo said some allies of his brother believed the attorney general was "front-loading" Boylan's complaint.
"[There were concerns] that the AG was going to assess it and give it importance to help Ms. Boylan and to hurt the governor and to, by extension, help the attorney general, who they believe is feeling out whether or not he's vulnerable enough, maybe because of her own efforts, to run against him," he said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her campaign for governor on Oct. 29.
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Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor Aug. 10 amid mounting pressure due to the accusations made against him. He has denied any inappropriate touching.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration. We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days," a representative for CNN said in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner.