ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Gov. Andrew Cuomo received advice from brother and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, after being accused of sexual harassment earlier this year, according to the Washington Post.
The CNN anchor was present during conference calls involving the Governor’s top aid, communications team, lawyers, and advisers in which he told the Governor to “take a defiant position and not to resign from the governor’s office,” four anonymous individuals told the Washington Post.
The Governor’s brother also referred to the term “cancel culture” as a reason to strongly deny the sexual harassment allegations made by former staff members, according to two people who heard the conference calls.
“There were a few phone conversations, with friends and advisers giving the governor advice,” Rich Azzopardi, Gov. Cuomo’s senior adviser told NEWS10 in response to the Post’s article.
In a statement to the Washington Post, CNN made a statement acknowledging Chris Cuomo’s involvement in the strategy sessions.
“Chris has not been involved in CNN’s extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo — on air or behind the scenes,” it went on to say “in part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother.”
“However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledged.” The statement also included a distinct notice that “he will not participate in such conversations going forward.”
Gov. Cuomo has made multiple appearances on his brother’s evening CNN show where the two have engaged in discussions about New York’s response to COVID-19 among other topics. At times their discussions appeared to take on the resemblance of sibling rivalry, with Gov. Cuomo joking that he was their mother’s favorite.
The Governor has also been criticized as of late because of a book deal he made about New York’s response to the COVID pandemic. He reportedly earned $5 million from the deal with Penguin Random House.