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Kellyanne Conway, Chris Cuomo off-the-rails CNN interview

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  • CNN host Chris Cuomo and White House counselor
    Kellyanne Conway traded verbal jabs at each other in a wild
    30-minute interview on Thursday night.
  • Cuomo opened the interview with a primer on this week’s
    avalanche of news, including court cases involving President
    Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael
    Cohen.



  • Conway and Cuomo were soon sparring and, at points,
    talking over each other in a wild 30-minute interview.

CNN host Chris Cuomo and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway
traded verbal jabs at each other in a wild 30-minute interview on
Thursday night.

The two were set to discuss this week’s avalanche of news, but
the interview soon went off the rails.

“There’s a little difference between you and me and the shop
you’re working for,” Cuomo told Conway at one heated point during
the interview.

“The White House?,” Conway replied.

“Integrity,” Cuomo said.

“How dare you,” Conway shot back.

“How dare me?,” Cuomo said.

At points, their discussion devolved into shouting matches, and
sarcastic accusations of sexism. It ended with a friendly
handshake.

The interview comes after a particularly tough few days for
President Donald Trump, whose former campaign chairman, Paul
Manafort was convicted by a jury on eight counts of bank and
tax fraud, among other charges.

And Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty
to multiple federal crimes and implicated Trump in two of them.

One of those crimes involved a $130,000 payment Cohen said he
made “at the direction” of Trump made just before the 2016
election to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about a
sexual relationship she said she had with Trump.

Cohen’s account conflicted with Trump’s and the White House’s
previous statements on the hush-money payment, which
led The Washington Post to call
the statements a “lie” in its fact-checking analyses.

That fact wasn’t lost on Cuomo, who flatly referred to Trump’s
remarks on the payment “a lie.” 

But Conway deflected the accusation and steered Cuomo’s interview
towards other subjects — talking points that echoed the White
House’s criticism against media outlets, including CNN.


michael cohen paul manafort
Michael
Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, and Paul
Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.

Associated Press/Craig Ruttle; Associated Press/Alex
Brandon; Business Insider


Allegations of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign:

CONWAY: “Where is that? You’ve spent so much sweat equity,
invested in so many screaming graphics and time, and experts
talking about everything from impeachment to collusion.”

CUOMO: “You got to ask Mueller, he’s not done with his
investigation,” Cuomo said, referring to special counsel Robert
Mueller.

CONWAY: “No, let’s be fair. You weren’t waiting for Mueller. CNN
is not, respectfully, [waiting] for Bob Mueller to finish his
investigation. Because you’ve been talking about collusion and
been promising it to your viewers.”

CUOMO: “Never, literally not once.”

Cuomo went on to describe Conway’s portrayal of CNN as “patently
untrue.”

CUOMO: “We don’t promise the audience an outcome. We tell them
that you have to respect the process.”

CONWAY: “I don’t want your viewers to, and I know your viewers
expect to be fed anti-Trump virulence every single night. And
they come away quite satisfied.”


mueller trump giuliani
From
left to right: Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney,
special counsel Robert Mueller, and Trump.

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider; Alex Wong/Getty; Jonathan
Ernst/Reuters


Criticism of CNN’s coverage of Trump:

CONWAY: “You know [CNN’s] audience doesn’t trust the White House.
Because all day long, on your network, all they hear is how
terrible we all are. That we lack integrity. That we lie.”

CONWAY: “Which word do you think has been mentioned more on CNN?
Collusion? Fentanyl? Impeachment? What do you think is mentioned
more on CNN? 29,000 people died last year in this country because
… of Fentanyl.”

CUOMO: “It all matters. It all matters.”

CONWAY: “Zero died because of impeachment. Zero died because of
collusion. Zero died because of the word ‘lying.'”

CUOMO: “That’s not the bar of presidential behavior. So here’s
what you’re saying — so, if the economy’s good, then you can lie
whenever you want. You can divide the country any way you want.
You can play to racist sympathies whenever you want. But it’s
o.k. because the stock markets up.”

That one tweet:

CONWAY: “Secretary of state Mike Pompeo going back to North Korea
again because they’re trying to denuclearize … ”

CUOMO: “Was he going there before or after he goes to South
Africa to help out those white farmers?”

CONWAY: “Christopher, come on. Be serious.”

Cuomo referred to Trump’s late-night tweet on Wednesday which
said he directed Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land
and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing
of farmers.”

Trump appeared to allude to a conspiracy theory and dog whistle
for racist and white nationalists — a conspiracy based on South
Africa’s post-apartheid land reform which suggests white farmers
were being killed. Studies have reportedly shown, however,
that the killing of white farmers in South Africa have been at a
20-year low.


mollie tibbetts missing iowa woman AP_18233668670814
A
poster for University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts hangs in
the window of a local business, in Brooklyn, Iowa, August 21,
2018.


Charlie
Neibergall/AP



On domestic politics:

Conway criticized CNN’s coverage of the death of 20-year-old
college student Mollie Tibbetts, which coincided with the
convictions of Manafort and Cohen on Tuesday. The network did
provide coverage on Tibbetts’ death and the arrest of her
suspected murderer, but dedicated the vast majority of airtime to
updates from Cohen’s and Manafort’s trial.

CNN’s coverage on the trials is contrasted by Fox News, which
dedicated the majority of their airtime for Tibbetts’ death. Fox
News has since been accused of downplaying the significance of
convicting Trump’s former associates, and fueling his warpath
against undocumented immigrants.

CONWAY: “There was wall-to-wall coverage about a missing woman in
Iowa until she was found, and God rest her soul, and then …”

CUOMO: “God rest her soul? You’re not letting her soul rest.
You’re waving her like a flag … ‘if you’re not with us about
immigrants, then you don’t care about Mollie Tibbetts.'”

CONWAY: “How dare you. How dare you.”

Conway also took a shot at the NFL protests — a non-violent
demonstration of players who protest police misconduct and gun
violence — which Trump has continued to criticize in numerous
campaign speeches.

CONWAY: “Do you do this when they play the national anthem?,”
Conway asked as she placed her hand over her heart.” “Or don’t
you, yes or no?”

CUOMO: “I do.”

CONWAY: “Ok, why?”

CUOMO: “Because it’s my damn choice, that’s why. Because it’s my
damn choice. Because I’m an American and I’ll exercise my freedom
the way I want to if it doesn’t hurt anybody else. And that’s
what they’re doing to.”

Cuomo later fired back at Conway by referring to
a crude comment Trump made in
reference to the protestors. At a campaign rally in September,
Trump described the protestors as a “son of a bitch,” and told
them to get off the playing field. 

CUOMO: “You know what’s also great? Not calling them sons of
bitches. That’s also great.”

CONWAY: “Who?”

CUOMO: “People of color.”

CONWAY: “Oh, stop it, Christopher.”


Screen Shot 2018 08 23 at 7.52.21 PM
Cuomo and Conway shake hands at the end of the
interview.

CNN


Cuomo vs. Conway

CONWAY: “You were a world class journalist who used to go to
plane crash sites and cover war.”

CUOMO: “I go now. I was in Helsinki and saw one of the most
embarrassing things I’ve ever seen in my life,” Cuomo said,
referring to the location of Trump’s summit with Russian
President Vladimir Putin in July.

Following the summit, Trump was criticized for stopping
short of condemning Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election and
appeared to hold reservations against US intelligence reports
that revealed Russia’s interference.

CUOMO: “It was really embarrassing.”

Amid the back-and-forth, and on at least two occasions, Conway
appeared to joke that Cuomo was mansplaining or manterruptting
her: “I think it’s kind of sexist the way you’re conducting this
interview … What is it about powerful, articulate women on TV
that bother you as guests?”

CUOMO: “I gave you more time than anyone else would.”

CONWAY: “No, you gave yourself a lot of time because you talked
pretty much the entire time.”

CUOMO: “I don’t think that’s true, I’ll give you a word count at
the end.”

CONWAY: “Well, the guest should have many more words. You know
that.”

CUOMO: “No, I don’t.”

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