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Chris Cuomo Defends Having His Brother on CNN Show: 'The Country Was Starved For Comfort'

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  • Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is set to begin a new program on News Nation early next week.
    Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is set to begin a new program on News Nation early next week.

    Former CNN host Chris Cuomo is speaking out about those much-criticized early COVID-era interviews with his brother, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo, calling them a conflict of interest "all day long," but defending them as "the right call" at a unique time.

    In a new interview with Kara Swisher, Cuomo states that the decision to reverse an earlier ban on the two brothers appearing on air together came from the network's former president, Jeff Zucker.

    "When Jeff decided to have Andrew on, I believe it was the right call because the country was desperate and starved for comfort," Cuomo tells Swisher.

    As for whether it was a conflict of interest for the news anchor to interview his brother, he concedes "Ab initio, inherently all day long... but there was complete transparency. You knew it was my brother."

    Of course it was a less transparent conflict of interest that led to the younger Cuomo's ouster at CNN after it came to light that he had helped his brother's PR team after the Governor was accused of sexual harassment. Those allegations ultimately forced the elder Cuomo to resign as Governor, and a subsequent investigation at CNN led Jeff Zucker to depart the network.

    Asked by Swisher whether he keeps in touch with Zucker or any of his former CNN colleagues, Cuomo responded "Well, no. I mean, look, after Jeff fired me, I mean, there wasn’t a lot for us to talk about."

    Cuomo is set to begin a new gig, anchoring News Nation's 8:00 PM newscast, on October 3rd.  

    Jed Rosenzweig is the Founder and Publisher of Primetimer. 

    TOPICS: Chris Cuomo, CNN, News Nation, Andrew Cuomo, Jeff Zucker, Kara Swisher