(NewsNation) — Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo says he was honest with his previous employer about the guidance he provided his brother, Andrew Cuomo, after the former New York governor was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.
“I never lied and there were no secrets,” Chris Cuomo said in an exclusive interview Tuesday on Dan Abrams Live.
The assertion conflicts with CNN’s version of events. The cable news outlet suspended Cuomo after documents revealed the extent to which he helped his brother respond to the scandal. The network claimed that Cuomo was more involved than executives knew.
“I have been obsessed with what happened, when, what was known, and there are a lot of facts that I believe are going to come out,” said Cuomo, who maintains that CNN execs were aware of his dealings with his brother.
Text messages and transcripts released by the New York attorney general last year showed Chris Cuomo had been in communication with his brother’s top aides, helping the embattled governor navigate the media firestorm and relaying what he was hearing from sources regarding the allegations.
He was let go by the network shortly after.
In a conversation with NewsNation host Dan Abrams on Tuesday, his first since leaving CNN, Cuomo acknowledged that he had talked with members of the media about the accusations against his brother. But he denied attempting to influence their coverage of the story.
“I never contacted any media who were covering my brother, to try to affect their coverage,” Cuomo said.
In March, Cuomo took legal action against his former employer and is now seeking $125 million for wrongful termination.
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The former anchor said that any calls he made to the media were only to find out if stories about his brother would be running. He said he did not try to pressure the press one way or another on those calls.
“There was a curiosity at the time by my brother’s team, obviously, of what was coming next, who was writing what,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo pointed out that there’s an important distinction between manipulating the media and trying to figure out basic information, insisting that he only did the latter.
“I could have contacted Ronan (Farrow). I could have contacted anybody who was working in the media — I’ve got a lot of relationships — and I probably could have justified it by saying, ‘I just want to make sure that you’re straight on the facts. I don’t want to influence you.’ I never did that,” Cuomo said.
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