CNN is acknowledging it was "inappropriate" for its anchor Chris Cuomo to advise his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), on how to handle his sexual harassment scandal.
The CNN host took part in a series of strategy calls earlier this year focused on how to respond after the New York governor faced allegations of sexual harassment, The Washington Post revealed on Thursday. These calls reportedly included the governor's top aide, communications team, lawyers, and advisers, and the CNN anchor urged his brother not to resign while citing "cancel culture," the Post says.
Chris Cuomo hosts a nightly show on CNN, and he said in March he could "obviously" not cover his brother's scandal on the air, though CNN would continue to do so. But Cuomo taking part in these advisory calls "cuts against the widely accepted norm in journalism that those reporting the news should not be involved in politics," the Post wrote, with Columbia Journalism School professor Nicholas Lemann saying, "If you are actively advising a politician in trouble while being an on-air host on a news network, that's not okay."
CNN in a statement to the Post confirmed that Cuomo, who "often serves as a sounding board for his brother," participated in these calls and said doing so was "inappropriate" but that he won't be disciplined.
"It was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the governor's staff, which Chris acknowledges," CNN said. "He will not participate in such conversations going forward."
CNN previously faced criticism for allowing Chris Cuomo to interview his brother numerous times on the air early on during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The network has said it "made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing his brother" during this time but that this rule has since been reimposed.