CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway engaged in a tense debate spanning nearly 40 minutes on Thursday night on “Cuomo Prime Time.” And Cuomo even warned he would call Conway “a liar if I have to.”
The two argued over CNN’s bias against President Donald Trump and the turbulent news week surrounding former Trump lawyer Michel Cohen and his claim that Trump knowingly directed him to violate campaign finance laws with hush-money payments to women in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has denied ordering the payments for the express purpose of influencing the election/
He has also denied knowingly breaking the law, claiming he ordered the payments for personal reasons.
But Cuomo (pictured above left) took Conway (above right) to task for these conflicting statements from Cohen and Trump — as Conway, during the marathon interview, accused CNN of harboring bias against Trump.
“They expect you to be anti-Trump, your viewers,” Conway said to Cuomo.
The CNN anchor replied,”No, [they] actually get frustrated with me because they think we’re too balanced on this show … They don’t want me to have you on. They don’t want me to have anyone from the administration. Trust me.”
Conway said her Aunt Rita told her that she cannot understand why Conway goes on CNN, and on Cuomo’s show in particular, saying, “He’s not nice to you.”
“[Your viewers] don’t want you to have me on for a simple reason. They accept if not expect you and the rest of CNN to be anti-Trump all day long. And you know it,” Conway argued. “You don’t have the same viewership that CNN once had. The people want it right down the middle, where the centrists and moderate[s are], and you know it.”
That’s when Cuomo rebuked Conway. He told her that his viewers are frustrated because “they believe that you guys don’t answer questions and that you spin a lot, and you ignore what is obvious fact,” said Cuomo, quoting his viewers.
“Are you going to call me a liar? Go ahead, you’re going to call me a liar?” Conway challenged Cuomo.
The CNN anchor replied, “If I have to, I will.”
“Oh, really? I dare you to do it. What is it I lied about?” Conway demanded.
Cuomo deflected, insisting, “I’m not saying that you’re lying.”
During the course of this chaotic interview, Conway told Cuomo that she is “the only person in the White House that will come on” his show, even though she hasn’t received “fair” treatment from him.
“That is their mistake. And good for you for taking the opportunity. They should not be cowards,” Cuomo fired back.
Conway retorted, “They are not cowards. They’re wonderful people.”
The astonishing segment went on for several more minutes, as Conway’s interview took up most of Cuomo’s show.
When Cuomo then handed off to CNN host Don Lemon at the top of the next hour, a stunned Lemon asked him, “Why?”
Lemon claimed that that Conway’s arguments were “defective, dismissive and [a] histrionic display of non-answers.”
“I want people who are players and I want to test them.”
“I don’t want to be rude. They take up your time, our time, on national television, when we could be learning something that’s important to us,” Lemon said as he appeared to urge Cuomo not to have any more Trump officials on the air.
Cuomo replied, “I want people who are players and I want to test them. That’s what ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ is all about.”
Check out part of the on-air clash in the video below: