New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday released final video evidence related to her investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
For the first time we’re hearing testimony from Cuomo’s brother, Chris, who was ultimately fired from CNN for helping the disgraced governor, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.
“It was very important to me that my brother not suggest that everything that happened was OK just because he meant it in a benign way, that that’s not how it works,” Chris Cuomo said.
Testimony shows how intimately involved Chris Cuomo was in advising his brother, then-governor of New York, on how to deal with the multiple sexual harassment allegations against him.
“I felt like I was pushing that this is real. It has to be dealt with and owned, has to be done, and the idea of two sides to this does not exist in our media culture or in the Democratic political culture,” Chris Cuomo said.
Chris Cuomo admits giving his brother advice, after accuser Charlotte Bennett came forward.
“Tell the truth and you tell it now. And I remember other people being more deliberative about it,” Chris Cuomo said.
He said his brother’s staff constantly sought advice from the then-CNN anchor, especially after the governor’s Feb. 27 statement denying all allegations against him.
“What did you hear? How’s he playing? What do you know, you know, about how it’s being perceived? What are people saying to you?” Chris Cuomo said.
He also admitted to wording statements for Andrew Cuomo’s aides to use on the governor’s behalf and asked to be kept in the loop about PR strategies, and testified he used his journalistic sources to stay on top of the allegations.
At one point, top Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa texted Chris Cuomo, saying, “Rumor going around from Politico 1-2 more people coming out tomorrow. Can you check your sources?”
Chris Cuomo responded, “On it.”
In his testimony, when asked if he checked his sources, Chris Cuomo said, “I was frequently in contact when we would hear word that there were other people coming out or there was more to be learned about somebody. I would talk to other journalists to hear what they had heard.”
Chris Cuomo also testified he told actor Alec Baldwin to stay out of it, after Baldwin offered to defend Cuomo against cancel culture.
Chris Cuomo also tried to discredit the governor’s accusers, specifically Anna Ruch, who claims Andrew Cuomo made unwanted physical advances toward her at a wedding.
“My friend had heard that maybe she had been put up to it. I then had a phone call with Melissa and/or Josh and was told that this was the wedding of one of the people,” Chris Cuomo said.
CNN fired Chris Cuomo in December, after the written transcript of his testimony was released.
Chris Cuomo also testified he told his brother his behavior represented bad judgment and shouldn’t have happened.
The only criminal charge filed against the former governor was dropped earlier in January.
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