Appearing on his show for the first time since the resignation of his brother as the governor of New York, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo addressed the sexual harassment allegations levied against Governor Andrew Cuomo in a report conducted by the state attorney general.
Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he would resign as governor later this month. His announcement came days after New York attorney general Letitia James published a report detailing harassment and groping allegations by the governor from 11 members, including former staff members.
Chris Cuomo had remained silent on the allegations against his brother for several months and did not appear on his show, "Cuomo Prime Time," last week (CNN said he had already scheduled vacation for that week before James' report was released). On Monday, before his show ended, the CNN anchor addressed his viewers.
In his remarks, Chris Cuomo told viewers that he urged his brother to resign, adding that it was something he "never imagined ever having to do."
He also addressed critics who have attacked him for not discussing the allegations on his show.
"It's never been easy to be in this business coming from a political family, especially now," Chris Cuomo said. "I never covered my brother's troubles because I obviously have a conflict, and there are rules at CNN about that."
Earlier this year, Chris Cuomo issued a public apology after The Washington Post reported that he had participated in "strategy sessions" with his brother's political advisors. Since apologizing in May, Cuomo has not addressed the series of scandals in Albany.
James' report also noted that Chris Cuomo had sent an email to his brother's advisors in which he provided them with language on how to address some of those allegations.
On Monday, the CNN anchor defended his actions in contributing to his brother's defense, despite lingering ethical questions.
"I'm not an adviser. I'm a brother," Chris Cuomo said. "I wasn't in control of anything. I was there to listen and offer my take. And my advice to my brother was simple and consistent: Own what you did. Tell people what you'll do to be better. Be contrite. And finally, accept that it doesn't matter what you intended. What matters is how your actions and words were perceived."
"I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward," Chris Cuomo said in further defending his actions. "I never made calls to the press about my brother's situation. I never influenced or attempted to control CNN's coverage of my family."
Chris Cuomo has worked at CNN since 2013 and began hosting his prime time show in 2017.