CNN has stayed silent despite damning texts showing how host Chris Cuomo helped pen his brother Andrew’s sex pest rebuttals and used sources to dig up dirt on accusers, despite denying ‘closely advising’ his brother.
Bombshell documents released Monday by the New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office show that he exchanged dozens of text messages with Andrew Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, despite him telling investigators they had ‘irregular contact’.
DailyMail.com asked CNN for comment, but the network has refused to comment.
Text messages released by Letitia James’ office on Monday detailed Cuomo’s role in his brother’s public relations crisis as he told senior members of the governor’s team, ‘we are making mistakes we cant afford.’ In one text, on March 3, he also asked DeRosa to ‘please let me help with prep’.
He also crafted at least two statements for his brother, one regarding accuser Charlotte Bennett’s claims, and another on Andrew’s refusal to resign. Lines from the latter statement he provided by text were used by his brother.
Texts also revealed Cuomo used his connections to find out about accusers, telling DeRosa he ‘a lead on the wedding girl,’ in reference to Anne Ruch, who told The New York Times the governor became ‘aggressive toward her during a September 2019 wedding.
She said he cupped her face in his hands and asked: ‘Can I kiss you?’
Other texts show that he asked another journalist for information on a story being written by Ronan Farrow and other journalists.
In one exchange, DeRosa asked Cuomo about a ‘rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow’. She also asked him to check his sources, to which he responded, ‘no one has heard yet’.
Newly-released texts from CNN host Chris Cuomo (right) reveal he helped strategize brother Andrew Cuomo’s (left) response to the sexual harassment scandal earlier this year
Texts also revealed Cuomo used his connections to find out about accusers, telling DeRosa he ‘a lead on the wedding girl,’ in reference to Anne Ruch (left), who told The New York Times the governor became ‘aggressive toward her during a September 2019 wedding
Anna Ruch, now 33, met Andrew Cuomo at her friends’ wedding in September 2019. He was photographed cupping her face
The text exchanges contradict Cuomo’s claims that he did not closely advise the disgraced former governor about a dozen sexual harassment allegations leveled against him.
Pages of texts show Cuomo strategizing the former governor’s response to the allegations with DeRosa. In one exchange he questions why one of his statements on Charlotte Bennett’s claims were not used, asking DeRosa: ‘What happened to the statement?’
He sent a follow-up message March 1.
It read: ‘Here’s what he should have said: “I have carefully considered Ms. Bennett’s statement and my own conduct. I don’t dispute that our conversation was as she reports. I also do not dispute that my words and supervisory position may have created a hostile work environment. I apologize to Ms. Bennett and will promptly seek to personally communicate my apology to her. I also apologize to the people of New York State, who have a right to better conduct from their Governor. This will not happen again.'”
Cuomo also sent DeRosa a later statement which his brother used lines from in responding to the allegations against him.
Melissa DeRosa, former secretary to the governor, exchanged dozens of messages with Chris Cuomo as her boss’s sexual harassment scandal was unfolding
Pages of texts messages released by AG Letitia James shows how Chris Cuomo strategised with his brother Andrew’s office, specifically with top aide Melissa DeRosa
CNN previously banned Cuomo from helping his brother plot how to respond to allegations he sexually harassed 11 women, and it is unclear if him telling Andrew to resign could be considered a breach of that prohibition.
In August, Cuomo used his CNN show to defend his behavior during the sex harassment scandal engulfing his brother – telling viewers that he was not an adviser to Governor Andrew Cuomo, but rather: ‘I’m a brother.’
‘I tried to do the right thing and I just want you all to know that,’ he said.
Both CNN and its star journalist have faced criticism for his interactions with his older brother.
Once Andrew was accused of sexual harassment, Chris began assisting him with media strategy – to the anger of CNN colleagues, including Jake Tapper, who said it put them in a difficult situation.
In May, when news of his assistance emerged, Chris apologized to viewers and colleagues.
And when the New York attorney general’s report was published, on August 3, Cuomo pointedly refused to discuss it – even while it was the lead item on his colleagues’ shows.
He said he did not, this time, advise his brother on media strategy.
‘I wasn’t in control of anything,’ Cuomo said on the air.
‘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 try to do to be better, be contrite.
‘Finally, accept that it doesn’t matter what you intended, what matters is how your actions and your words are perceived.’
While he never imagined he would have to do it, ‘I did advise my brother to resign when the time came,’ he said.
Last week, Andrew Cuomo was condemned as a sex pest who committed multiple impeachable offenses in a new official report.
The investigation, by New York’s state assembly’s judiciary committee, was released November 22 and found ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Cuomo sexually harassed 12 women.
The 12th victim, mom-of-three Sherry Vill, previously came forward to detail Cuomo’s alleged manhandling and forcible kissing while touring her flood-damaged home in 2017. She was not included in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s August report, but the judiciary committee said it had since corroborated her claims.
Pages of text exchanges between Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo’s top aid Melissa DeRosa were released by the New York Attorney General’s office Monday
The report released by the Attorney General’s office on Monday also revealed that in one text message, Cuomo said ‘his friend’ asked actor Alec Baldwin to post commentary online, referencing Baldwin’s 14-minute Instagram rant earlier this year where he hit out and defended due process amid sexual misconduct allegations leveled at Andrew Cuomo and Woody Allen.
‘My friend asked him to do it,’ Chris said in a message to Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Melissa DeRosa. ‘Very close to him.’
During subpoenaed testimony with investigators July 15, Cuomo said he asked his friend to tell Baldwin to stay out of the scandal.
‘I said, Tell him to stay out of it,’ Chris Cuomo told investigators. ‘It’s not necessary. He said, “Well, he’s going to do it. And I think it’s a good idea for him to do it. He wants to talk about these things.”‘