Chris Cuomo admitted that he “covered” for his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when pressed about it during a tense exchange with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
Chris Cuomo, the former CNN primetime star who was fired by the network after it was learned he helped his brother strategize on how to combat sexual harassment allegations against him more than two years ago, interviewed Ramaswamy on his NewsNation cable program Monday night.
Ramaswamy was confronted by Chris Cuomo over his combative debate performance last week, during which he took aim at fellow GOP contender Nikki Haley.
“Ramaswamy, why do you keep going at Nikki Haley?” Chris Cuomo asked the biotech mogul-turned-politician.
“Chris, I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, man,” Ramaswamy shot back. “You and the rest of the mainstream media, it’s laughable. Nikki Haley’s been going after me the whole campaign.”
Ramaswamy took aim at Cuomo and “the establishment media” for backing “the puppet they want to put up” — a reference to Haley, the former governor South Carolina who served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Cuomo pushed back on Ramaswamy’s claim that the mainstream press was promoting Haley, accusing the candidate of “putting together a tapestry of conspiracies” by suggesting that Cuomo was backing Haley.
“She hasn’t even been on my show!” Cuomo told Ramaswamy.
“You’re part of the mainstream media despite pretending that you’re not,” Ramaswamy told Cuomo in response.
“Look the audience in the eye and tell them how you covered for your brother.”
Cuomo replied: “You don’t want to take care of your family, that’s fine.”
“Of course I covered for my brother. Of course I help my brother. Or course I do,” he added.
Ramaswamy said Cuomo’s admission was an illustration of how “journalistic standards” have been “failed … not just by you, but by every member of the broken political media.”
“Everyone in the media is responsible for covering for my brother?” Cuomo shot back, adding: “You miss the target by going too broad.”
The Cuomo brothers’ close relationship was on display for the nation during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when the then-governor was invited onto CNN’s air for gushing interviews, horseplay and banter.
The softball sessions were criticized by journalists within CNN as well as from other outlets.
In 2021, Andrew Cuomo was accused by several former aides of sexual harassment.
The former governor, who eventually resigned, has denied the claims.
A subsequent investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James found that Chris Cuomo was helping his brother with messaging as well as finding information about his accusers.
The revelation prompted Chris Cuomo’s then-boss, CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker, to fire the anchor in late 2021.
An internal CNN investigation into the Cuomo matter later uncovered that Zucker had been carrying on a years-long relationship with his top marketing officer, Allison Gollust.
Early last year, Zucker was forced out and Gollust resigned weeks later.
After his firing, Chris Cuomo filed an arbitration claim seeking a $125 million payout from the network for what he termed an “unlawful” firing.