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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo addressed his suspension from the network Wednesday during his SiriusXM radio show.
"It hurts to even say it. It’s embarrassing. But I understand it. And I understand why some people feel the way they do about what I did. I’ve apologized in the past, and I mean it," Cuomo said.
"It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do was compromise any of my colleagues and do anything but help. I know they have a process that they think is important. I respect that process, so I'm not going to talk about this any more than that."
Cuomo was suspended indefinitely Tuesday, a day after records showed he was intimately involved in trying to help his brother, then Gov. Andrew Cuomo, wade his way through myriad scandals.
CNN said that its top-rated anchor would be out of his 9 p.m. slot as host of "Cuomo Prime Time" after transcripts released Monday revealed he worked with sources and talked strategy to help Andrew Cuomo amid sexual harassment allegations that led to the governor's resignation in August.
In a statement, CNN said the transcripts and exhibits released Monday by the New York Attorney General’s office shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense.
"The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions," the statement said.
While Chris Cuomo admitted on air in May that he helped his brother and said it was a mistake, the records Monday showed a larger role than previously revealed, such as texting with the governor's top aides and advisers and trying to talk to other journalists about looming articles.
"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," CNN's statement continued.
"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."
After the revelations Monday, CNN was under increased pressure to address Chris Cuomo's standing.
In May, Chris Cuomo said on air that he's "family first, job second," but added, "When my brother's situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisors that did include some of his staff – I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again."
Attorney General Letitia James' office released dozens of transcripts and videos of interviews with Chris Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo, multiple accusers and investigators retained by James to look into a number of claims of sexual misconduct against Andrew Cuomo.
It came after James' report Aug. 3 that found the Democratic governor sexually harassed at least 11 women — including nine current or former state employees. Cuomo resigned several weeks later amid the potential he would be impeached.
In the latest records, the younger Cuomo was shown trying to stave off the scandal engulfing his brother's administration. For example, he spoke to a friend about allegations from Anna Ruch, who accused the governor of touching her on the lower back, touching her face and asking to kiss her at a wedding in 2019.
“I have a lead on the wedding girl,” he texted Cuomo's top aide Melissa DeRosa on March 4. He later learned from Andrew Cuomo’s staff that Ruch’s complaint had come in early after the alleged incident and been consistent throughout, he said.
Speaking under oath with investigators, Chris Cuomo also said he was consulted about the former governor’s responses to the allegations, the first of which came from former aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett.
Chris Cuomo was also involved in finding information about potential stories about the his brother's troubles, including a story by journalist Ronan Farrow that included Boylan.
“If Ronan has nothing better — better than Boylan, that’s a great sign,” Chris Cuomo texted to DeRosa on March 13.
When asked why he was given information or consulted on state matters, the younger Cuomo responded “because he’s my brother — the governor,” adding that his advice, counsel or guidance was “sometimes” or “generally” being sought in these instances, according to the transcript.
When the transcripts were released Monday, Andrew Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi contended that details were selectively released.
The release of the new information is a “manipulated release of hand picked witness testimony with selective redactions,” Azzopardi said.
He added that James, who is running for governor in 2022, “misused government resources to damage political opponents.”
Joseph Spector is the Government and Politics Editor for the USA TODAY Network's Atlantic Group, overseeing coverage in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. He can be reached at JSPECTOR@Gannett.com or followed on Twitter: @GannettAlbany
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This article originally appeared on New York State Team: Chris Cuomo address CNN suspension, calls it embarrassing