CNN anchor Jake Tapper has repeatedly acknowledged the latest sexual misconduct allegation against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, yet apparently has no time to talk about the claims on his own show.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Albany Times Union published claims by a sixth Cuomo accuser, an unnamed former staffer who alleged that Cuomo had touched her inappropriately at the governor’s mansion late last year.
Tapper, known as a regular Twitter user, retweeted the report after it was shared by Times Union editor Casey Seiler.
However, Tapper made no mention of the sixth accuser on his show, “The Lead.” The rest of his CNN colleagues similarly avoided the story.
On Wednesday evening, the Times Union followed up its initial report with a bombshell containing disturbing details about the woman’s claims.
“The staff member, whose identity is being withheld by the Times Union, had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone,” the paper reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the allegation. “They were alone in Cuomo’s private residence on the second floor when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her, according to the source.”
The report continued, “The person, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the woman — who is much younger than Cuomo — told the governor to stop. Her broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.”
Cuomo denied the allegations but called the reported details “gut-wrenching.”
A report about the alleged groping has since been made to Albany Police by the New York State Executive Chamber.
Tapper not only posted the Times Union report to his account but retweeted Cuomo’s response to the groping allegation, which had been posted by others.
However, there was still no mention of Cuomo’s sixth accuser on the air.
Instead, Tapper ran an expansive report on Thursday about the latest Cuomo drama, which featured New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joining the calls for his resignation and his program’s own fact-checking of Cuomo’s misleading nursing home rhetoric in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
When addressing the sexual misconduct allegations, CNN correspondent Brynn Gingras told Tapper, “Five women, four who formerly worked with or for the governor, have publicly accused Cuomo of either sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior,” putting emphasis on the accusers who “publicly” came forward.
The inexplicable omission continued Friday, even after New York magazine published an essay written by Cuomo’s seventh accuser, former Albany reporter Jessica Bakeman.
Bakeman alleged that the governor touched her inappropriately and made her feel uncomfortable in an attempt to impose his power on the young journalist.
“I never thought the governor wanted to have sex with me. It wasn’t about sex. It was about power,” Bakeman wrote. “He uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.”
Like the previous reports, Tapper retweeted the essay twice after it was shared by two CNN analysts, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman and Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim.
On Friday’s installment of “The Lead,” neither Bakeman’s nor the sixth accuser’s allegations were mentioned in Tapper’s report about Cuomo.
After panning Cuomo’s comments during a phone call with reporters in which the governor attacked “cancel culture” and asserted that he’s “not part of a political club,” Tapper referred to “at least five” accusers who have come forward, despite there being seven accusers by the time his show aired.
Conservative commentator Stephen Miller, a vocal critic of Tapper on Twitter, told Fox News that CNN’s star anchor has a “reputation” of retweeting “damning stories of Democrats” and “that’s his way of covering it, and then topics on his show are different.”
“He plays the role [CNN President] Jeff Zucker wants him to play, like pretty much everyone else at CNN. Pretty simple,” Miller said.
Tapper did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Tapper’s colleague, Wolf Blitzer did address Bakeman’s claims on “The Situation Room.” However, after a guest alluded to the sixth accuser’s groping allegation, Blitzer told viewers that CNN “has not confirmed” the unnamed woman’s claims.
The pro-Cuomo network previously went two full days without mentioning the explosive reporting from the Times Union that outlined the groping allegation. Even on Thursday, as multiple CNN anchors reported on the “latest” developments, they steered clear of the sixth accuser’s claim.
Nearly 40 minutes into the 3 p.m. ET program Thursday, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin addressed the 59 New York Democrats who have signed a letter calling for Cuomo’s resignation and invited Democratic State Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani, who expressed his support for the governor’s impeachment.
During the interview, Mamdani mentioned the Times Union report, but Baldwin refrained from acknowledging the sixth accuser and moved on to another question about the impeachment push.
Later that day, both Tapper and Blitzer skipped over the groping allegation while covering the Cuomo scandals.
On Friday’s “New Day,” its daily morning show, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota gently pushed back after her guest, New York Times journalist Jesse McKinley mentioned that “six” accusers had come forward at the time against Cuomo, telling viewers, “CNN hasn’t been able to confirm that number.”
CNN previously went roughly an entire day before mentioning the allegations made by Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide who wrote an essay accusing her former boss of unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and forcibly kissing her on the lips.
Meanwhile, the liberal network had no problem running an anonymous woman’s sexual misconduct allegation against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after it was reported that a letter was sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., during the Trump appointee’s 2018 confirmation hearings. That woman was later identified as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
CNN previously did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The mainstream media previously hailed Cuomo’s “leadership” in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic; CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter at one point sycophantically said Cuomo provided “hope” and he would pass Cuomo’s advice along to his own children.
The governor is the older brother of the network’s star anchor, Chris Cuomo, putting CNN in an awkward position.
Rather than cover the Democratic governor objectively, CNN allowed the “Cuomo Prime Time” host to welcome the governor for a series of chummy interviews that lacked in substance but were heavy in fanfare.
While Gov. Cuomo’s controversial nursing home policy went virtually unmentioned, the CNN anchor made plenty of time for brotherly banter, hyping the governor’s presidential prospects, and even prop comedy.
Now, as his brother faces multiple scandals and investigations, as well as calls for his resignation and impeachment, Chris Cuomo has said he “obviously” cannot cover the embattled governor despite previously starring in what critics dubbed CNN’s “Cuomo-Cuomo variety hour.”