Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said that the network’s executive, Jeff Zucker, was previously aware of Cuomo’s actions when he protected his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo and Zucker “were widely known to be extremely close and in regular contact, including about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother,” said a spokesperson for Chris Cuomo.
The spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday evening that “there were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest.”
Cuomo was fired on Saturday following the release of materials that suggested he was more involved than he had admitted in trying to help Andrew Cuomo amid sexual harassment allegations against the former governor earlier this year. The materials were released on Nov. 29 by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, who previously alleged that the former governor harassed at least 11 women while he was in office.
Andrew Cuomo ultimately stepped down as governor earlier this year, but he has maintained that the allegations against him are false. The former governor now facing misdemeanor criminal charges after one of his accusers pressed charges against him.
On Sunday, CNN told WSJ that Chris Cuomo’s characterization of his relationship with Zucker and Cuomo’s other claims are incorrect.
“He has made a number of accusations that are patently false,” CNN said, without elaborating on what claims may have been false. “This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.”
The anchor was terminated on Saturday by CNN after the network discovered new information about Cuomo’s involvement with his brother’s defense as the former Democrat New York governor was facing misconduct allegations of his own.
Previously, Cuomo was suspended by CNN while allegations against him were being investigated.
Over the weekend, lawyer Debra Katz told The New York Times that an unnamed client told CNN that Chris Cuomo had acted inappropriately to her. Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for Cuomo, denied the allegations and characterized them as anonymously sourced.
“These apparently anonymous allegations are not true,” Goldberg said in response to Katz’s claims, adding that Cuomo “fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”
Katz had told the paper her client was “disgusted by Chris Cuomo’s on-air statements in response to the allegations made against his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo” when Chris Cuomo addressed the then-governor’s scandal in March.
In May, during a CNN town hall, Zucker conceded Cuomo “made a mistake” by helping his older brother and added he would not punish Cuomo because it would be tantamount to “punishment for the sake of punishing.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Cuomo and CNN for comment.