CNN host Chris Cuomo offered to help his brother then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo find out how many women would be accusing the politician of sexual harassment, new transcripts revealed Monday.
New transcripts from the inquiry, made public Monday by New York Attorney General Letitia James whose office investigated Andrew Cuomo, offered additional details about how Chris Cuomo was involved with helping his brother deal with the situation and ensuing political struggles.
Andrew Cuomo has denied wrongdoing.
Investigator Jennifer Kennedy Park asked the journalist if he offered to help his brother “find out if there might be any other complainants.”
“I would — when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Chris Cuomo said, according to the documents.
The younger Cuomo, who is host of CNN’S “Cuomo Prime Time,” however, said he ultimately never did such research for the governor.
A representative for CNN could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday.
But in a statement to CNBC, a CNN spokesman said the organization would be reviewing the new documents.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” Matt Dornic said in a statement. “We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”
Chris Cuomo admitted he did help Andrew Cuomo’s team flesh out allegations made by Anna Ruch, who objected to the governor kissing her at a wedding.
Transcripts of Chris Cuomo’s interview with investigators showed he sent a text message to the governor’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, “I have a lead on the wedding girl.”
Chris Cuomo said he was helping his brother’s team understand that Ruch had complained about the kiss contemporaneously, implying the complaint should be taken seriously.
“I then had a phone call with Melissa and/or Josh and was told that this was the wedding of one of their people and that this complaint had happened right then, had been heard from her, and it’s been always there, didn’t just come up,” Chris Cuomo said.
The CNN anchor said helping his brother was a family matter and appropriate since he wasn’t directly reporting on Albany at the time.
“Because what I’m worried about is my brother and what this means for my family. And I’m not covering it. You know what I mean?” Chris Cuomo told investigators.
“You know, the idea that I could ever report on my brother has always been an absurdity to me. That’s never been my intention. That’s never been my practice. And so, look, this was just — you know, just wanted to be able to help my brother. That’s it.”
Chris Cuomo said that any advice he gave his brother was based on telling the truth.
“I am worried about my brother and worried that this is being handled the best way it can,” he said of ongoing discussions with his brother as the scandal unfolded.
“And my feeling was that, to my basic mantra, you need to tell the truth and get in front of these if you have something to say. And if you have something to own, you need to do that as well.”
Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation as governor on Aug. 10, adding, “I never would intentionally disrespect a woman, treat any woman differently than I would want them treated, and that is the God’s honest truth.”
Associated Press contributed.