Charlotte Bennett, a former New York state employee and the second woman to accuse now-ousted Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, is calling on CNN to fire its embattled anchor Chris Cuomo following revelations from the New York Attorney General’s investigation.
“Yesterday, we learned just how far Chris Cuomo was willing to go to discredit, silence and smear women, like me, who came forward to report Governor Cuomo’s sexual misconduct,” Bennett began a statement released Tuesday. “In addition to scouring the internet for personal information about me, he reached out to his professional network with the hope of intercepting additional allegations against his brother, Governor Cuomo.”
Among the revelations from newly-released transcripts from the AG probe included one from the investigators’ interview with Democratic strategist and Andrew Cuomo ally Lis Smith showing Chris Cuomo had forwarded her documents regarding Bennett and her “time in college.”
“CNN must immediately take action,” Bennett wrote. “The network need not investigate his behavior – the investigation is over, and yesterday we received answers: Just like his older brother, Chris Cuomo used his time, network and resources to help smear victims, dig up opposition research, and belittle our credible allegations. His behavior is reprehensible, unprofessional and inexcusable.”
Bennett continued, “CNN must act – now. Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking both morals and a backbone. Does CNN stand by journalistic integrity, or will it simply excuse his actions because Chris Cuomo drives ratings?”
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
On Monday, CNN offered a tepid response to the explosive documents revealing its star anchor being far more involved in helping his brother than he previously led on to his viewers.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserves a thorough review and consideration,” CNN stated. “We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”
Transcripts from his interview with investigators show the “Cuomo Prime Time” host admitting he would reach out to find out about new accusers who have yet to come forward publicly.
“When asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Cuomo told investigators.
Cuomo’s admission contradicts what he told CNN viewers in August when he claimed, “I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”
Three days after the New York Times broke the story about Anna Ruch, who alleged the governor sexually harassed her at a 2019 wedding reception, the CNN anchor texted top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, “I have a lead on the wedding girl.”
In another exchange, DeRosa texted to Cuomo, “Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow,” then asking him “Can u check your sources?”
Cuomo replied “on it,” later writing back “No one has heard that yet.”
The CNN anchor snooped into the progress of Ronan Farrow’s reporting about his brother and relayed it to the governor’s inner circle.
He admitted to contacting colleagues of Farrow for updates but claimed it was simply “business-as-usual” to employ such methods. Text messages released by state investigators showed DeRosa asking about “intel the CNN anchor had about Farrow’s report on March 15, to which he replied it wasn’t ready for publication. Farrow’s story was eventually published on March 18.
This comes as the CNN anchor alleged to investigators he’s not in the “oppo research business.”
“I would never do oppo research on anybody alleging anything like this. I’m not in the oppo research business. I don’t tolerate a lot of oppo research on any level,” Cuomo claimed. “And I was never aware of anything like what you’re suggesting, nor did I ever participate in, nor did I ever suggest, nor would I ever tolerate anything like what you’re suggesting.”