Jake Tapper: ‘Bad Guy’ Chris Cuomo Leaked Jeff Zucker Scandal for Revenge on CNN

CNN host Jake Tapper has accused disgraced former anchorman Chris Cuomo of leaking the story about ousted ex-boss Jeff Zucker to get “revenge” on the network.

Tapper grilled Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN’s parent company, during a closed-door meeting about how the Zucker scandal went down, according to multiple media outlets.

During the meeting, where several other staffers and hosts were present, Tapper reportedly alleged that “bad guy” Cuomo leaked the story.

New York Times reporter Michael M. Grynbaum broke down what happened in the meeting with Kilar.

“CNN’s DC newsroom confronted Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, in a tense hour-long meeting last night over Jeff Zucker’s resignation,” he wrote.

“Jake Tapper asked about the notion that Chris Cuomo “blew the place up”

“Tapper said if you could address the perception that Chris Cuomo gets fired by CNN Chris Cuomo hires a high-powered lawyer who has a scorched earth policy who then makes it very clear to the world that unless Jeff gives Chris Cuomo his money they’re going to blow up the place.

“Stuff starts getting leaked to gossip websites about Jeff and Allison and then weeks later Jeff comes forward and discloses this and resigns, not willingly.

“An outside observer might say well it looks like Chris Cuomo succeeded he threatened, Jeff said we don’t negotiate with terrorists, and Chris blew the place up.

“How do we get past that perception that this is the bad guy winning?”

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Kilar responded: “When it comes to perception, all I can offer you, Jake, is every minute of every day, we’ve got what’s on the screens behind you.

“I believe that’s what’s going to define us going forward far more than what’s happened today.”

Kaitlin Collins, CNN’s chief WH correspondent, followed up: “I think the issue is that it’s not a perception.

“What Jake just described is actually what happened here.”

Kilar replied: “I feel that appropriate decisions were made with careful, careful consideration.”

Collins also pressed Kilar on the process behind Zucker’s resignation with a series of questions:

Q: Did an outside law firm recommend you fire Jeff?

A: “I’m not going to go into the details of the interchange of the outside firm and the body of work that was shared with us.”

Q: Were you aware of Jeff and Allison’s relationship?

A: “No, I was not aware of the relationship before this.”

Q: When did you become aware?

A: “Again, out of respect for this  process, out of respect for Jeff, I am absolutely not going to answer.”

Q: Did you consult with other executives before you made this decision?

A: “There is a group of folks that you would expect to be involved in this from a legal standpoint and an HR standpoint.”

Kilar was pressed again on whether he consulted with other executives at the company about Zucker’s fate.

“When it comes to handling HR matters, you’re absolutely right that I tend not to canvass a large group. I don’t.”

“Stuff starts getting leaked to gossip websites about Jeff and Allison and then weeks later Jeff comes forward and discloses this and resigns, not willingly.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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