Born in Queens, New York on August 9, 1970, Christopher Charles Cuomo is a licensed attorney and a television news anchor with CNN. He is the son of the late New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, and the brother of Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo strongly supported President Barack Obama‘s 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) executive action, which granted most DREAM Act-eligible individuals temporary legal status, work permits, access to social services, and protection from deportation. In a January 2018 interview with Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Cuomo said that “Obama had to do that executive action, because it’s the only thing he could get done. You guys [Republicans] would do nothing, and this was the only protection those people could get.” That same month, Cuomo praised congressional Democrats for “saying that Dreamers [young-adult illegal aliens who first came to the U.S. as minors] don’t deserve to be treated like dogs and thrown out of the country.” In February 2018, Cuomo denounced the idea of spending billions of taxpayer dollars “for a [border] wall that isn’t necessary.”
In a July 2015 interview with Michael Cohen, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s special counsel, Cuomo said that the term “sanctuary cities” was a “misnomer,” and that such locales were “not safe havens” for illegal aliens “the way you’re describing.” In February 2017 Cuomo lamented that “some families have been jeopardized and broken up by [immigration law] enforcement actions.” And in March 2018 he praised Pope Francis as someone who believed that “being pro-life means you don’t split up families in the name of immigration policy.”
During a February 2014 interview regarding a proposed state law designed to protect business owners in Arizona from being required to perform services that violated their religious or moral values – e.g., baking and decorating cakes for same-sex weddings – Cuomo accused the bill’s supporters of trying to “enforce intolerance.”
Cuomo rejects the principle that, as Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore articulated in a February 2015 interview, “our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution; they come from God.” “Our laws do not come from God,” Cuomo replied, “… and you know that. They come from man…. Our rights do not come from God.”
Cuomo – who in February 2015 said that “the Republican Party has a problem with science” – embraces the notion that the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with human industrial activity are major causes of potentially cataclysmic “climate change.” Those who hold a different view, says Cuomo, are akin to people who, in ages past, “thought the world was flat,” “thought blacks and whites shouldn’t marry,” and “thought blacks shouldn’t be equal. “It’s become a little bit of a pet for the right fringe of [the Republican] Party, playing with the realities of science,” Cuomo said in August 2017, adding that “most in the scientific community” say that “climate change is real” and that “human behavior is central to this incident.”
In August 2015, Cuomo voiced concern that a new report on the rape culture of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS would “fee[d] the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages, and [that] their faith makes them that way.” In December 2016, he charged that “sixty percent” of Republicans “think all jihadis are Muslim.” As the Media Research Center subsequently pointed out: “Since jihad is a concept from the Islamic faith, a jihadi, by definition, would indeed be a Muslim waging a religious-based war for Islam.”
In a December 2015 interview with Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina – who had been highly critical of Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the release of some undercover videos showing that the organization was engaged in the illegal sale of fetal organs and body parts – Cuomo claimed, without evidence, that those videos had been “edited” to make Planned Parenthood look bad. Citing a recent incident in which a self-identified evangelical Christian had murdered three people (and wounded nine others) in a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility, Cuomo asked Fiorina: “Do you feel any sense of regret about how you characterized what was going on at Planned Parenthood,” given that the perpetrator “was influenced by some of the rhetoric that was coming out of you and others that painted a very ugly picture, an unfair one, about Planned Parenthood?”
In February 2018, Cuomo said that Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s position that abortion should be illegal in all cases “seems very backward-looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today.” Cuomo also said that “at the end of the day politically,” abortion is “all the [evangelical] community cares about.”
While covering President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016, Cuomo informed his viewers that he was wearing his father’s guayabera shirt, which had been “given to him by Fidel Castro as a gift.”
In an April 2016 interview with socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Cuomo asked Sanders how it felt for him “to be here tonight with tens of thousands of young people shouting your name, believing in you.”
In 2016, Cuomo insisted that Hillary Clinton “did not do anything illegal” by using a private server for all of her State Department email communications during her tenure as Secretary of State. Falsely claiming that “[no] classified information got sent” via that server, Cuomo conceded only that Clinton’s actions had been “poorly thought out.”
In November 2017, Cuomo said that if the Justice Department were to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton‘s role in the “Uranium One” deal – a 2010 transaction that had placed 20% of all U.S. uranium reserves under Russian control while greatly enriching the Clinton Foundation – it would be nothing more than a “political spitball contest.” He also stated, without evidence, that the uranium in question was not “weapons grade stuff,” but rather, was “all for domestic use.”
In an October 2016 interview with Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, Cuomo dismissed the importance of reports that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine had once had a close relationship with a Marxist priest in Honduras. “He was on mission,” Cuomo told Spicer, “and he was spending time with his Catholic priest who you guys are defining as a Marxist. I guess all priests are Marxists, in some way, I guess, if you wanted to say that. What’s the point of that criticism?”
In December 2016, Cuomo explained that Donald Trump had won the recent presidential election on the strength of support from many white people who were feeling “victimized” by Islam, and who had the attitude that “now it’s our turn.” On a later occasion, Cuomo said that Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” “was always a call to go back to times when you didn’t have the kind of progress you have, you didn’t have the inclusiveness you have, things were simpler and harsher.”
Asserting that President Trump “sees diversity as a minus” and favors “a policy of exclusion,” Cuomo in January 2018 told White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah that the Trump administration was engaged in “a pretty intentional effort to make illegal immigrants – as you call them – monsters.” He also falsely stated that illegals “are incarcerated at lower rates than the rest of the population,” and he grossly misrepresented a DHS report as one “which fictionalizes the risk of terror that is represented by people who come into this country illegally,” “make[s] them all into villains,” and “says [that] basically three out of four of them may be terrorists.” “If you were really worried about who’s killing people in the name of terror in this country, you’d be focused on white supremacists,” added Cuomo. “That’s your biggest threat.”
Cuomo has been outspoken on the issue of transgender rights. For example:
In January 2017, Cuomo derided a Republican proposal to allow health insurance companies to compete for business in a free market that transcended state lines. “There is no proof — or even, really, a solid theory — that that would guarantee access for everyone,” said Cuomo.
In a February 2018 interview with Cuomo, former Trump presidential campaign adviser Michael Caputo complained that journalists were reporting, “like stenographers,” the many illegal leaks that were coming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which was investigating the Trump presidential campaign. Cuomo, in turn, defended the leaks as “part of the currency of journalism.” On a separate occasion, he told Republican Congressman Jim Jordan that “if we didn’t rely on leaks, we would allow so much B.S. to get directly to the American people.”
When the Commerce Department announced in 2018 that the 2020 Census questionnaire would include a question asking participants whether or not they are U.S. citizens, Cuomo voiced concern that illegal immigrants “won’t want to come forward” and take part in the census at all, which might result in “underreporting” that would give Republicans an “advantage” with regard to congressional “redistricting.”
In March 2018, Cuomo, a supporter of increased gun-control measures, claimed that “no one” wanted to repeal the Second Amendment, and he derided the “boogeyman” warnings of gun-rights activists. When former Senator Rick Santorum pointed out that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had just published an op-ed exhorting gun-control advocates to explicitly “demand a repeal of the Second Amendment,” Cuomo dismissed the story because Stevens was “not a politician” and was “not the head of any kind of significant group.”
Deriding President Trump’s suggestion that drug dealers should be subject to capital punishment, Cuomo in March 2018 accused Trump of wanting to “assassinate” them.
In a March 2018 interview with Cuomo, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci explained that President Trump’s effort to “drain” the proverbial “swamp” of Washington politics was a difficult task because “the immunological system around the swamp is so powerful that it will reject a disruptive move to change the system.” In response, Cuomo suggested that “maybe adding a virus into that system … wasn’t the … appropriate change mechanism.”
Following President Trump’s March 2018 announcement that he wished to hold a military parade on Veterans’ Day to honor all the people who had ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Cuomo characterized the idea as one “that you usually see in North Korea.”
On May 28, 2016, Cuomo’s wife, Cristina, hosted a party for her Beach magazine staffers at Jue Lan Club in Southampton, New York. That night, Mr. Cuomo crashed his 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible into a parked Mercedes while drag racing with a friend. The collision caused the radiator in Cuomo’s car to crack and leak fluid. According to sources cited by PageSix.com, “They got him away from the scene fast. Everybody heard it. It was a full-blown drag race…. He was drinking, and I believe that’s why he was sent home. Everyone saw the state he was in. When he crashed, it got really quiet.”
In May 2019, Cuomo, speaking about the radical anarchist/Marxist organization Antifa, said: “There are certainly aspects of them that are true to a cause, that is a good cause, they want social justice, they want whatever they want in that context.”
In August 2019, Cuomo became involved in an angry confrontation with a man who referred to him as “Fredo,” a reference to the dimwitted middle brother of the Corleone sons in The Godfather. Shouting at the man, Cuomo claimed that “Fredo” was “an Italian aspersion” that was “like the ‘N word’ for us.” Initially unaware that he was being videotaped, the livid newsman told his adversary that he would “fu**ing ruin your sh**” and “fu**ing throw you down the stairs.” When a video of the altercation subsequently went viral on the Internet, critics began to note that the term “Fredo” had been used repeatedly on CNN to deride a Republican congressman as well as Donald Trump Jr. — including once on Cuomo’s own program. And on one occasion in January 2010, radio host Curtis Sliwa had interviewed Cuomo about whether the latter’s brother Andrew might run for governor of New York. Stating that he had dubbed the Cuomo family “la Cuomo Nostra,” Sliwa said: “There is a group of people — politicos — who always hint they might run, but not necessarily plunge all the way, and they are members of la Cuomo.” In reponse, Chris Cuomo asked humorously: “Who am I, then, Fredo?” (For video of Cuomo’s August 2019 confrontation as well as several occasions when the word “Fredo” had been spoken on CNN, click here.)
In September 2019, Cuomo interviewed former congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng, who had recently narrated an advertisement highlighting the dangers of socialism and criticizing the “ignorance” of the openly socialist U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Downplaying the role that socialism had played in the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s, Cuomo said: “You are so well-educated. You know that, you know, you can talk about socialism any way you want. Pol Pot was a brutal autocrat and dictator. That wasn’t about socialism. That was about him being an evil human being. You know, you can go to Scandinavia or Denmark, and see socialism. They’re not killing people. Why paint with that kind of brush against a set of ideas coming from a Democrat in your own country?” In her reply. Heng noted that “Pol Pot learned socialist ideologies in France and wanted to create this utopia. And … quickly, that evolved into the murderous regime … which it became…. Canada and Denmark and some of those other places … they have become capitalist nations.” Later in the interview, Cuomo told Heng: “People like your family and what you represent … your fight is with the President [Trump] that you support. He’s the one who talks about your parents like they’re ‘some other’ that shouldn’t be in this country.” Cuomo also accused Trump of “embracing dictators everywhere he finds them.”
On March 31, 2020, Cuomo announced on Twitter that he had just tested positive for coronavirus, the pandemic that had been wreaking havoc on the U.S. and other nations around the world for a number of weeks. “I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fevers, chills and shortness of breath,” he wrote. “I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and [Cuomo’s wife] Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness! I am quarantined in my basement…. I will do my shows from here. We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united.”
On April 20, 2020, Cuomo posted an Instagram video documenting what he called his “official reentry” from the basement of his family home in Southampton, New York, after three weeks in quarantine. Noting that he had finally been “cleared” by the Centers for Disease Control, Cuomo stepped onto the main floor of the house and said: “This is what I’ve been dreaming of. Literally for weeks.” The video showed him reuniting with his wife and children and saying: “This is the dream, just to be back up here doing normal things.” He then expressed gratitude to his children for having helped him during his quarantine: “Thank you for being so nice to me. Thank you for taking care of everything you had to. Thank you for taking care of me. Bella [a daughter], thank you for stepping up and now adding ‘family videographer’ to your resume.”
But the entire video was a charade. Because eight days earlier, on April 12, a 65-year-old bike-rider named David — a lifelong Democrat who had voted for Andrew Cuomo for governor — spotted Chris Cuomo on an East Hampton, New York property that the broadcaster had purchased in 2019 to serve as the site for a new house that he was planning to build. A report in the New York Post details what transpired next:
David said Cuomo was with his wife, another woman and three kids who were playing around on the property. The resident said he stopped and sat on his bike “well over a hundred feet” from the property. “I just looked and said, ‘Is that Chris Cuomo? Isn’t he supposed to be quarantined?’” […]
David said the woman who looked like Cuomo’s wife came over to him and said, “May I help you?” He said he replied, “I’m riding my bike” — then started asking why Cuomo was there out of quarantine and not social-distancing from the group. He said Cuomo then started toward him, coming to within about 40 feet.
“He [Cuomo] said, ‘Who the hell are you?! I can do what I want!’” David said. “He just ranted, screaming, ‘I’ll find out who you are!’
“I said to him, ‘Your brother is the coronavirus czar, and you’re not even following his rules — unnecessary travel,’” the resident said.
“He just began to boil more. He said, ‘This is not the end of this. You’ll deal with this later. We will meet again.’ If that’s not a threat, I don’t know what is,” David said.
The man said he waited ’til Monday afternoon to call East Hampton cops to report the incident. “I hate bullies,” David said.
After his confrontation with David, Cuomo launched into a tirade on his SiriusXM radio program in which he stated that he no longer enjoyed what he did for a living because his status as “a celebrity” made it impossible for him to be combative with people who annoyed him. “I don’t want some jackass, loser, fat-tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bulls–t to me, I don’t want to hear it,” Cuomo raged. “I want to be able to tell you to go to hell, to shut your mouth … I don’t get that doing what I do for a living: me being able to tell you to shut your mouth or I will do you the way you guys do each other.”
In the aftermath of the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd — a black man who died after being abused by a white police officer in Minneapolis — a number of U.S. cities were overrun by violent riots. On June 2, Cuomo said:
“Now too many see the protests as the problem. No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets: persistent, poisonous inequities and injustice. And please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time. […] Police are the ones required to be peaceful, to deescalate, to remain calm.”
With regard to Cuomo’s question about “where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” journalist John Nolte provided an answer: “It’s a little thing we like to call the First Amendment: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.’”
On April 16, 2021 — in the wake of a few high-profile police shootings of black civilians — Cuomo stated that gun-law reform and police reform would not happen until whites were affected by gun violence in greater numbers. Said Cuomo:
“We refuse to address the violence. We refuse to address the shootings and the violence as a figurative disease. This is a disease…. You know what the answer is. You really do. You don’t like it. I don’t like [it]. It scares me. Shootings, gun laws, access to weapons? Oh, I know when they’ll change. Your kids start getting killed, [when] white people’s kids, start getting killed…. If it were people like me whose kids were getting shot by cops, this would have ended a long time ago.”
On May 20, 2021, Cuomo apologized on air for having advised his older brother, Governor Andrew Cuomo, on how he ought to handle his ongoing sexual harassment scandal. Said Chris Cuomo:
“If you’ll remember, I told you, back in the beginning of March, I can’t cover my brother’s troubles. It wouldn’t be fair. And you got it then, and I appreciate you understanding. Now today, there are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly and I certainly have never hidden it. I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family. Those of you who watch this show get it. Like you, I bet, my family means everything to me, and I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second.
“But being a journalist and a brother to a politician is unique and a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles. It’s not always easy. People can say and write what they want, but I want you to know the truth. How I helped my brother also matters. When my brother’s situation became turbulent, being looped into calls with other friends of his and advisers that did include some of his staff, I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake. Because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that, and I am sorry for that. It’s also important for you to understand, not only do I not cover this here, I’ve never tried to influence this network’s coverage of my brother. In fact, I’ve been walled off from it.
“This is a unique and difficult situation, and that’s okay. I know where the line is. I can respect it and still be there for my family, which I must. I have to do that. I love my brother, I love my family, I love my job, and I love and respect my colleagues here at CNN. And again, to them, I am truly sorry.”
On September 24, 2021, longtime television journalist Shelley Ross published an opinion piece in The New York Times in which she accused Cuomo of having sexually harassed her once at a party in 2005, when the two worked together at ABC News.
On October 11, 2021, Cuomo, asserting that Republicans were “all-in” on former President Trump’s claims that he had won the 2020 election, said: “We’ve never seen one party in this damnable two-party system that we insist on go all-in on a lie. So half of your political system is invested in a lie. That’s happening. It’s not just Trump. The whole party practically backs actively or passively, selling that the election was not legitimate.”
Regarding the fact that Democrats on multiple occasions had likewise claimed that the results of certain political elections were invalid, Cuomo said: “Questioning is different than finding no proof and then lying and refusing to certify. That’s what Trump and Company did. There are not good people on both sides of this argument. And I will be dammed if I sit by and don’t say this as plainly as possible because this will be remembered. There are not good people on both sides. This is not a good faith dispute. It is bad faith. They know the election was not rigged. They know it was legitimate. Anyone telling you with full knowledge that they have no proof and yet the election wasn’t legit is part of an effort that may lead us to an all-time low.”
As of May 2020, Cuomo had a net worth of approximately $12 million.