CNN prime time anchor Chris Cuomo has been fired from the network.
CNN released a statement on Saturday that confirmed the brother of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had been let go, and said there was more information it found during its investigation.
“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately,” the network said.
“While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light,” it said. “Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”
The statement made reference to “additional information [that] has come to light” during the investigation that was done by an outside law firm.
While the contours of Chris Cuomo’s involvement with the governor’s office were reported several months ago, the specifics were detailed in a massive document dump on Monday. The documents — released by New York Attorney General Letitia James after an investigation into the governor — showed that Chris Cuomo, while working as one of CNN’s top anchors, was also effectively working as an unpaid aide to the governor.
The cozy and improper nature of the relationship was conveyed through text messages obtained by James’ office. The texts between the anchor and several aides and allies of the governor revealed that Chris Cuomo sought to use his connections in the press to help prepare Andrew Cuomo’s team as accusers started to make their stories public.
On the day his brother resigned, back in August, Chris Cuomo told viewers that “this situation is unlike anything I could have imagined.”
Earlier in the week, it was reported that there were even CNN talent and staff that wanted Cuomo gone.
The Daily Beast reported.
“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvements in his brother’s defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions,” a spokesperson for CNN said.
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” they said.
Two people familiar with the situation said that while CNN doesn’t want to prolong the matter, Chris Cuomo deserves due process and the opportunity to respond to the most recent revelations.
The people with knowledge of the situation said CNN boss Jeff Zucker had felt serious heat from infuriated talent, including Jake Tapper, over the last 24 hours and acted to yank Cuomo off the air while the review is carried out.
But even more than Tapper, it is starting to look as if Cuomo is friendless at CNN.
“I don’t know anyone who likes him,” the source said.
“He was surviving because it didn’t make Zucker look bad. Now it is,” a top journalist who used to work for Zucker said.
Cuomo’s issue is that transcripts of his emails and well as his own testimony to New York state investigators showed that he strategized with his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides and attempted to learn what other journalists were going to report about him and relay that information to his brother’s PR team.
A former aide to Andrew Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, who said the governor made inappropriate remarks to her, has demanded that CNN fire the younger Cuomo as it awaits the results of its investigation.
“Yesterday, we learned just how far Chris Cuomo was willing to go to discredit, silence and smear women, like me, who came forward to report Governor Cuomo’s sexual misconduct,” she said in a tweet on Tuesday.
“CNN must immediately take action. The network need not investigate his behavior – the investigation is over, and yesterday we received answers: Just like his older brother, Chris Cuomo used his time, network and resources to help smear victims, dig up opposition research, and belittle our credible allegations. His behavior is reprehensible, unprofessional and inexcusable,” the former aide said.
“CNN must act – now. Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking both morals and a backbone,” she said.