CNN's Chris Cuomo Admits He Made 'a Mistake' by Advising Brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sexual Harassment Claims

CNN says its Cuomo Prime Time anchor won't face discipline after a Washington Post report revealed he joined conference calls with his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his staff

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo. Photo: CNN

CNN's Chris Cuomo apologized on-air Thursday night and acknowledged his "unique" situation of being both a news anchor and the sibling of a high-profile politician after reports revealed he advised his brother Andrew Cuomo on recent sexual harassment allegations made against the New York governor.

"It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot," Chris, 60, said during Cuomo Prime Time. "I never intended for that. I would never intend for that. And I am sorry for that."

The controversy centers on the widely-followed media policy that journalists should not have conflicts of interest with the subject they're reporting on.

Chris, 50, anchors CNN's 9 p.m. news show Cuomo Prime Time, which describes its host as one who "gets after it with newsmakers in Washington and around the world."

However, one of the newsmakers frequently on the program has been Andrew, 63, who has faced calls to resign in recent months amid a growing number of sexual misconduct allegations against him. The governor has denied the allegations and has said he won't resign.

Prior to Chris' apology, The Washington Post reported earlier in the day that he participated in "a series of conference calls" with his brother, the governor's top aides and strategists, and lawyers about how to politically navigate the allegations.

"I understand why that was a problem for CNN," Chris said at the top of his show Thursday night. "It will not happen again."

The allegations against Andrew range from inappropriate sexual comments and hugs to alleged groping incidents.

Five women say the governor's harassment happened while they were either aides in his office or working for him while he was secretary of housing and urban development in former President Bill Clinton's administration. New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the allegations.

Chris reportedly advised his brother not to resign and blamed "cancel culture" during one of the calls, according to the Post.

In a statement, CNN told the newspaper that Chris has not been involved in coverage of his brother's allegations but acknowledged that "it was inappropriate" for the news anchor "to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor's staff."

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Andrew and Chris Cuomo. Kevin Mazur/Getty
Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Chris announced on his show in early March that he would step back from coverage of his brother, while CNN would continue to report on the allegations.

That announcement came amid criticism that the Cuomo brothers' relationship was blurring the lines of journalistic ethics for the network.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris would often interview his brother about New York's efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The segments were at times emotional or filled with chummy jabs between the brothers, which irked critics amid coverage of the global pandemic.

CNN said Chris won't be suspended or face disciplinary action over the calls with his brother and his staff.

"Today there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice — of course I do," Chris said. "This is no revelation. I have said it publicly, and I certainly have never hidden it. I can be objective about just about any topic. But not about my family."

Chris continued: "My family means everything to me and I am fiercely loyal to them. I'm family first, job second."

A rep for the governor's office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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