Bros before ethos
CNN host Andrew Cuomo was more involved in defending his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), from sexual misconduct allegations than previously known, according to documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office Monday. Transcripts of Chris Cuomo's July deposition and text messages between him and top Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa suggest he used his journalism contacts to help keep his brother's team abreast of developments in the sexual harassment scandal that led the governor to resign in August.
In a March 4 text, Cuomo told DeRosa, "I have a lead on the wedding girl," an apparent reference to a March 1 article in The New York Times about a woman, later identified as Anna Ruch, who accused Andrew Cuomo of trying to kiss her at a wedding. On March 7, DeRosa texted Chris Cuomo about rumors more women were about to come forward. "Can u check your sources?" she asked. "On it," he replied, adding later, "No one has heard that yet."
DeRosa asked Chris Cuomo at least twice to check his "sources" for information about a coming Ronan Farrow article featuring Andrew Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan's harassment allegations. When DeRosa texted on March 15, "Did u get any more intel?" Cuomo responded: "Story not ready for tomorrow." The New Yorker published Farrow's article March 18.
"I remember Melissa asking me at some point that either they wanted to know if I knew or could find out if more were coming," Cuomo told investigators in his July deposition. "When asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out."
Cuomo also told investigators he had asked "another journalist" about when the Farrow article was coming out, and did not tell CNN. "If I had tried to influence any of the reporting at CNN or anywhere else, I guarantee you you people would know, and so would a lot of others," he said, arguing that "one reporter calling another to find out about what's coming down the pipe is completely business-as-usual."
Chris Cuomo did not mention the newly released documents on his show Monday night. CNN said in a statement that the new transcripts and exhibits "deserve a thorough review and consideration," and "we will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days."