CNN anchor Chris Cuomo broke his silence Monday night, addressing the resignation of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and a scathing report on sexual misconduct allegations against the governor that also detailed how the broadcaster was involved in managing the response to the scandal.
"It's never been easy to be in this business coming from a political family, especially now," Chris Cuomo told viewers on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" show. “I never covered my brother’s troubles because I obviously have a conflict and there are rules at CNN about that.”
He raised ethical questions inside the network after New York Attorney General Letitia James issued her report on the governor and Chris Cuomo's role as an adviser to his brother — a dynamic that media experts suggested was a journalistic conflict of interest that many in the profession would consider inappropriate.
"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.”
In May, Chris Cuomo admitted that he had "inappropriate" strategy conversations with his older brother and promised to steer clear of the network’s coverage of his brother. On Monday, he also acknowledged that he urged his brother to resign "when the time came."
The late night anchor continued to defend his actions: "I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. 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 said he "tried to do the right thing" in a "unique situation, being a brother to a politician in a scandal and being a part of the media," adding that he had no further comment at this time.