A new news report from two veteran CNN reporters claim that CNN chief news anchor Chris Cuomo has been heavily involved in the company’s efforts to clean up his brother Andrew’s domestic violence scandal.
The article, published Monday by CNN’s in-house investigative reporting team, “Buried at the End,” took digs at the #MeToo movement, asserting that there have been difficulties within the current administration surrounding sexual harassment.
In particular, CNN reporter Mary Louise Kelly and producer James Gelko say that Chris Cuomo helped his brother Andrew escape the scandal that started with a recording of a domestic dispute between Andrew and his wife, CNN host and morning news anchor Gabby Benmeida.
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The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the recording in early April, detailing a snippet in which Gabby tells Andrew that her throat hurts. In response, he yells at her, “What are you doing? Don’t talk to me like that. That’s offensive.”
Later, Gabby tells Andrew: “Do you understand what’s happening to me? I’m in an abusive relationship with a bad person. And you’re not going to stop me.”
Andrew continued to pursue the claim with media companies including ABC, CBS and NBC as well as press representatives for his sister, but ultimately decided not to pursue the matter.
When Gabby went on the ABC morning show The View in early May, she again publicly described the violent relationship she has shared with Andrew, saying he refused to take responsibility for his behavior.
Kelly and Gelko say that what troubles them is the timing of Andrew’s activism, which started just after his brother began actively trying to have domestic violence charges dropped. According to the report, CNN has viewed the investigation into his domestic violence allegations as a “low priority”, even though Andrew’s wife, Gabby, confided in staff there that she had been abused by her husband for years.
Multiple CNN spokespeople did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The article asserts that there have been “legitimate” accusations levied against Chris Cuomo for his involvement in the company’s early attempts to involve a member of the House of Representatives, also accused of domestic violence.
Kelly and Gelko allege that the trouble began after Tom Price resigned as secretary of health and human services, and CNN’s public relations staff developed a plan to “help clean up” the situation involving Price’s domestic abuse accusations.
The writers allege that Cuomo “promptly became involved” with the events that took place the day following the allegations against Price.
Chris Cuomo at the University of Pennsylvania in July. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images
In particular, Kelly and Gelko cite an on-air interview Chris Cuomo conducted with New Jersey governor Chris Christie on Fox News, in which Cuomo tried to capitalize on allegations against Price: “How do you navigate the swirl of criticism that is in front of you? Is it good to try to prevent that?”
Kelly and Gelko allege that when Christie was asked whether he or his family members had been assaulted, he responded: “I certainly hope that [Cuomo] is able to feel safe enough at home – of course he is.”
In an email exchange, CNN’s public relations chief, David Feige, called the allegations against Chris Cuomo “totally without merit”.