NY AG report detailing harassment claims against Andrew Cuomo details brother's advising role

Andrew Cuomo Chris Cuomo
Posted at 8:15 AM, Aug 04, 2021

NEW YORK — A report released Tuesday by the New York attorney general's office shed new light on earlier reports that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo participated in strategy sessions for his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The report issued by New York AG Letitia James said Chris Cuomo was one of several outside advisers who were "regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information" that impacted the government despite having no "formal role, duty, or obligation to the State."

The report's appendix includes a February email that Chris Cuomo sent to his brother's advisors, which included a suggestion that the governor say he never meant to offend or cause harm to anyone with his behavior.

In the email, it was suggested that Andrew Cuomo say that "sometimes I am playful and make jokes ... My only desire is to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business."

CNN has not commented on its anchor's inclusion in the AG report, and Chris Cuomo did not mention the report during his show on Tuesday evening.

In May, Chris Cuomo apologized publicly after The Washington Post reported that he took part in "strategy sessions" with his brother's advisors as they discussed how to deal with the harassment allegations.

"Today, there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice," Chris Cuomo said at the time. "Of course I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly, and I certainly have never hidden it."

"I'm family first, job second," he added. "But: Being a journalist and a brother to a politician is unique, and a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles."

Chris Cuomo also said during that apology that CNN had "walled him off" in the reporting process about the allegations against the governor.

The AG report on Tuesday concluded that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees and that his office operated as a "hostile work environment," and that it was "rife with fear and intimidation."

In a public statement Tuesday, the governor again denied touching anyone inappropriately, ascribing the way he acts around others to "generational" and "cultural" differences.

"I do kiss people on the forehead, I do kiss people on the hand, I do embrace people, both men and women," Andrew Cuomo said. "I am the same person in public that I am in private...I try to put people at ease."

Top members in the governor's own party, including President Joe Biden, have called on him to resign.