Gov. Cuomo’s inner circle was aware of the slimy mailer that sought to link Cynthia Nixon to anti-Semitism, casting new doubts on his campaign’s repeated denials about the smear against his Democratic primary rival.
Campaign manager Maggie Moran was copied on discussions about the mailer and her top aide, Adam Steinberger, was involved in its creation two weeks before the election, interviews and documents obtained by The Post show.
Cuomo’s office was looped in, too: Jill DesRosiers — top lieutenant to Cuomo’s right hand, Melissa DeRosa — was copied on the e-mail, according to sources familiar with the exchanges.
The e-mails show that it would have been difficult for longtime top Cuomo adviser Larry Schwartz to review the mailer but miss the large-type line linking Nixon to anti-Semitism, as he claimed, because both the positive and negative parts of the mailer were contained in a single attachment.
An e-mail exchange from Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 showed Schwartz giving his sign-off, despite feeling uncomfortable, according to sources.
Steinberger wrote to Schwartz: “Larry, you okay with this?” a person familiar with the exchange recounted.
Schwartz responded: “Not sure, but not going to hold it up.”
Cuomo and his aides claimed Schwartz only saw one side of the mailer, which featured positive statements about Cuomo. But e-mails described to The Post cast doubts on that defense.
“The way the attachment is set up, it’s just one attachment with the whole mailer on it,” one source explained.
Conversations about what would become of the mailer began on Aug. 28.
The next evening, Nixon held her own in a debate against Cuomo.
Less than 48 hours later, mailer preparations were in overdrive.
On Aug. 31, Steinberger sent an e-mail to former Cuomo aide David Lobl and asked him to prepare a dossier on the “contrasts” between Cuomo and Nixon on Israel and other issues “as soon as possible.”
It didn’t matter Lobl had left the governor’s office — where he spent six years as a special assistant, serving as its liaison with Jewish communities.
A day later, Lobl responded with a series of talking points that formed the basis of the mailer.
“Neither Maggie nor Jill were on the emails where the specific contents of the mailer were discussed,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Lis Smith.
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