Liberal host Chris Cuomo of CNN (above left) and former presidential Hispanic Advisory Council member Steve Cortes (above right) took each other to task on Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s comments during a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders earlier this week, as Mediaite reported.
The president reportedly claimed that if the Republicans lose in the 2018 midterm elections, there will be violence.
“They will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently. There’s violence. When you look at Antifa and you look at some of these groups — these are violent people,” the president reportedly said.
Referencing those remarks, Cuomo asked Cortes live on air, “Do you think the president should apologize for saying if the GOP loses in the midterms there will be violence? First of all, if you win, you don’t have to be upset about it … But violence? Why stoke that kind of fear?”
Cortes would not acquiesce to Cuomo’s line of questioning — and say that yes, Trump should apologize.
Instead, he doubled down.
“I’ll tell you why. He’s not stoking fear,” Cortes replied. “He’s recognizing the reality out there. The very unfortunate reality in America is that political violence is on the rise…”
“He says if we lose, it’s going to be violent,” Cuomo pressed Cortes, reminding him of Trump’s remark.
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“‘Preachers,’ he said. ‘Preachers, help me in the pulpit because if we lose they are going to be violent. They’re violent people,'” Cuomo went on.
“A lot of them are,” Cortes snapped back, saying that Trump was referring to Antifa, known to be aggressive and dangerous in their protests.
Then Cortes tossed the ball into Cuomo’s court, accusing him on equivocating on Antifa.
“I never equivocated on anything,” a clearly annoyed Cuomo replied. “You let your righty mouthpieces twist my words for effect to enhance a bigoted agenda. And now you’re going to sell it.”
Clearly irked now, Cuomo continued, “It’s a mistake on this show. I said very clearly and people can check my words, ‘You break the law, you’re a criminal and a thug.’ I said I don’t create a moral equation between those who preach hate and those who fight it because not all punches are equal. And I stand by that. But I never endorsed Antifa. Don’t sell B.S. to my face. Do it behind my back, where you’re better at it.”
If that wasn’t heated enough — things devolved from there.
“You read your little buddies at Breitbart and the little niche places that you say need to have more time on Google.”
Cuomo wasn’t done and took another dig at conservative media and at Cortes.
“Your wave of — listen, this is my point, Steve,” Cuomo said. “You know, if you looked at the words — which unfortunately we both know you didn’t. You read your little buddies at Breitbart and the little niche places that you say need to have more time on Google. And you came up with ‘Cuomo didn’t beat down Antifa enough.’ Untrue. I said if you break the law, you’re a criminal. It’s not good enough for you guys. You know why? You want to divide. And I’m wondering if it will work for you.”
See the heated exchange in the video below.