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CNN’s Don Lemon revealed in a new interview that colleague Chris Cuomo thinks his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is being unfairly treated and the scandals he’s embroiled in are “politically driven.”
“It would be tough for anybody, especially if it’s your brother, right?” Lemon told the New York Times. “If it’s a loved one, to see them going through something like this regardless of what it is. Chris has told me how he felt about it, that it’s tough for him, that he’s sure his brother is, how do I say this? That he may not have done everything right, but he doesn’t necessarily deserve what he’s going through, and a lot if it is, if not most of it is politically driven, motivated.”
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Gov. Cuomo, D., is beset by multiple accusations of sexual harassment, as well as charges by state officials that he orchestrated a cover-up of coronavirus nursing home deaths. He has faced calls to resign from both sides of the aisle, including Democratic New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The situation has created discomfort at CNN, where his younger brother hosts the network’s most watched program and has been banned from covering the scandals. Adding to the embarrassment was that Chris Cuomo was allowed to interview his brother multiple times in 2020 at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, which sometimes devolved into inside jokes, prop comedy, and exchanges of brotherly love.
Lemon took a passive shot at the network for ever lifting its original rule preventing Chris Cuomo from covering or interviewing his brother.
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“I thought that was a good policy before,” he said. “I think before Covid, he didn’t cover his brother, and I don’t know what changed during Covid, but I think that was a good policy.”
Lemon said he didn’t think Gov. Cuomo should seek re-election in 2022, but he predicted if he did, he would win. The governor has given no indication he will heed calls to step down, similar to how Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, D., soldiered on in 2019 after a blackface picture scandal.
“You can brazen and shameless [sic] things out,” the Times’ Kara Swisher said.
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Chris Cuomo and Lemon are the final two left-wing hosts of the night on CNN’s primetime lineup, and the two friends often banter during the change-over between their shows.
Lemon said it did not make him “uncomfortable” to cover negative stories about Gov. Cuomo, despite his relationship with his brother.
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“Chris is the governor’s brother, he’s not the governor. I care about Chris on a personal level,” he said