CNN anchor Chris Cuomo acknowledged the scandal embroiling his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in explaining to his evening audience how he now is the one person at the network who can’t report on it.
The short address, which took place at the beginning of Cuomo’s show on Monday, aired less than two hours after a third woman accused the Democratic governor of sexual misconduct and follows a long stream of criticism focused on how the host conducted lighthearted interviews with his brother earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother, and obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother,” Cuomo said. “Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively, and they will continue to do so.”
Throughout 2020, Chris Cuomo interviewed his bother on multiple occasions, with the two engaging in playful banter, but they ceased as Gov. Cuomo faced mounting criticism for his response to the pandemic, particularly his now-reversed order forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients released from hospitals.
>> @ChrisCuomo at the top of @CuomoPrimeTime tonight: “Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother. 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.” pic.twitter.com/G49mZYTG4D
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
March 2, 2021
The New York attorney general announced on Monday that a special counsel will be appointed to investigate claims of sexual misconduct. The 63-year-old governor denied the sexual harassment claims of two former aides, and when asked about a third woman accusing him of unwanted sexual advances, his office pointed to a prior statement in which Cuomo acknowledged, “Some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
Meanwhile, the FBI and the Brooklyn federal prosecutor’s office have opened an investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes and nursing home death data during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement to the Washington Post published on Feb. 16, CNN said, “The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time. We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest. As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively.”
“I have always cared very deeply about these issues and profoundly so,” Chris added on Monday, though not specifying to what he was referring. “I just wanted to tell you that. There’s a lot of news going on that matters also, so let’s get after that.”