Cuomo Whines Conway’s Criticism of Media Not Wanting Trump Elected Are ‘Hurtful’ and ‘Unfair’

As part of an epic, 20-minute-long interview on Monday’s New Day between CNN host Chris Cuomo and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the subject of media bias arose and when Conway suggested there are journalists who didn’t want Donald Trump to become President, Cuomo whined that this was “hurtful” and “unfair.”

The latest controversy involving Conway surrounded her comments to a New Jersey newspaper (the Bergen Record) on U.S. surveillance techniques. From that, the media has alleged that Conway suggested the Obama administration spied on Team Trump through microwaves. 

“None of that is true. I was answering a question about surveillance techniques generally. I was reflecting what people saw in the news last week, which were several articles about how we can surveil each other generally. The answer I’ve given about the President and wiretapping in Trump Tower is very simple and I’ve said it many times, including this morning on other networks, so that screaming headline doesn’t even reach the quote and the content accurately,” responded Conway.

Of course, Cuomo didn’t believe Conway, so she hit back by informing him that she’s “not Inspector Gadget”: “I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign. However, I have — I’m not in the job of having evidence. That’s what investigations are for.”

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It was here that Conway pushed back against the media and their Russia obsession:

CONWAY: I mean, every single day on this network and others, people are screaming about Russia and the campaign and to what avail? Where — where is the evidence — where is the —

CUOMO: The investigations haven’t started yet. 

CONWAY: Okay, but you’re fine with that. You’re fine with that investigation taking its time. But when it comes to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees listening to President Trump and including this as part of the overall investigation, somehow, that has to be on a rocket docket, that has to have evidentiary proof on day one, that has to have a conclusion before it even starts. That’s not fair.

A few minutes later, Conway again poked holes in the Bergen Record story, claiming it erroneously reported that Conway’s husband would be offered the Solicitor General gig even though it’s gone to someone else.

Cuomo conceded that was wrong, but Conway wanted to know: “So that’s not even — oh, well, where is the screaming headline? Where is the retraction? Where’s the question of credibility?”

As expected, the debate grew tense with Cuomo getting defensive and Conway admitting she’s “great clickbait”:

CUOMO: I never said it. That would be really bad if I did it, because you would have —

CONWAY: You’re quoting from an article. Now you’re selectively quoting. 

CUOMO: But I’m saying I never said that. So you got to treat everybody on the face of what they said and, look, I get —

CONWAY: Indeed, and what I was talking about was —

CUOMO: — that you’re saying that you didn’t mean —

CONWAY: — was surveillance generally. 

CUOMO: I know. But —

CONWAY: But people will fit that the way they want to fit it. 

CUOMO: But hold on. I’ve watched it. I’ve read it, and I talked to Kelly. He believes that you were throwing it out there generally, but he also says he was asking you about the investigation specifically. 

CONWAY: So he believes I was throwing out there generally. Then he should correct his headline. I know it’s good clickbait. I know I’m great clickbait. 

CUOMO: Well, but also the question is why were you doing that? Because this goes to personal integrity, what kind of message you’re putting out. And this seems to be a distraction.

Conway finally got a chance to speak without being cut off and argued that she’s within her means “to talk about things that are in the news without you questioning anybody’s personal integrity.” 

Cuomo continued to disagree, so Conway dropped this bomb, informing Cuomo that he belongs to an industry that “don’t necessarily want Donald Trump to be the President” are bent out of shape to the point that they ignore everything else going on in the news that includes the health care battle. 

After Conway described issues like Americans not being able to afford ObamaCare as “real things, not fantasy things,” Cuomo admitted that Conway’s media comments hurt his feelings:

CUOMO: Just a couple of things. One, you said by people who don’t want Trump to be President. That is just no fair, okay. My questioning of you, my questioning of his baseless claim about wiretapping, is not about not wanting the President to be President. 

CONWAY: Maybe not you, but do you think —

CUOMO: That’s unfair and it’s hurtful —

CONWAY: Do you think the President is treated fairly?

CUOMO: — because you are feeding people’s animosity. Why even put it out there?

The White House counselor blasted Cuomo’s suggestion that her rhetoric was “feeding people’s animosity,” pointing to her “24/7 Secret Service protection because of people feeding people’s animosity” to the detriment of her safety.

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Cuomo appeared to irresponsibly equate the two and Conway snapped back that Cuomo shouldn’t “claim that privilege.”

“There are many people who don’t, who then have screaming headlines who are constantly on our backs. They won’t give him full and fair coverage. I would like full coverage. I would like people to cover everything that he’s doing. You can ask the tough questions. People can attack it, but do you know he has had 33 or 34 executive actions? Everybody wants to cover one or two or them. Do you know what the jobs report said on Friday? 235,000 net jobs,” Conway stated before the interview moved toward topics of the economy and health care.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s New Day on March 13: 

CNN’s New Day
March 13, 2017
8:18 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: I just wanted to bring you in on the conversation of the morning. Alright, so we had Mike Kelly on. He says he — that he asked you these questions in the Bergen Record, everybody’s talking about the interview right now. The suggestion seemed to be from you that wiretapping could include all these different genres of technological advancements, they should be looked at as well. The problem is the President is a phone call away from answering all these questions. 

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Hold on. None of that is true. I was answering a question about surveillance techniques generally. I was reflecting what people saw in the news last week, which were several articles about how we can surveil each other generally. The answer I’ve given about the President and wiretapping in Trump Tower is very simple and I’ve said it many times, including this morning on other networks, so that screaming headline doesn’t even reach the quote and the content accurately. 

(….)

CONWAY: Chris, I’m not Inspector Gadget. I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign. However, I have — I’m not in the job of having evidence. That’s what investigations are for. I’ve said many, many times throughout the week that the President is pleased that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have agreed with him that this should be part of the investigation that already exists about Russia and the campaign, an investigation that apparently has gone nowhere so far. I mean, every single day on this network and others, people are screaming about Russia and the campaign and to what avail? Where — where is the evidence — where is the —

CUOMO: The investigations haven’t started yet. 

CONWAY: Okay, but you’re fine with that. You’re fine with that investigation taking its time. But when it comes to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees listening to President Trump and including this as part of the overall investigation, somehow, that has to be on a rocket docket, that has to have evidentiary proof on day one, that has to have a conclusion before it even starts. That’s not fair.

(….)

CONWAY: And I would also say in the same article today, with the screaming headline that just is false, is not what I was saying, it also says that my husband is in line for the solicitor general job. That job went to somebody else last week. 

CUOMO: Alright. So that’s wrong. 

CONWAY: So that’s not even — oh, well, where is the screaming headline? Where is the retraction? Where’s the question of credibility?

CUOMO: I never said it. That would be really bad if I did it, because you would have —

CONWAY: You’re quoting from an article. Now you’re selectively quoting. 

(….)

CUOMO: I’ve watched it. I’ve read it, and I talked to Kelly. He believes that you were throwing it out there generally, but he also says he was asking you about the investigation specifically. 

CONWAY: So he believes I was throwing out there generally. Then he should correct his headline. I know it’s good clickbait. I know I’m great clickbait. 

CUOMO: Well, but also the question is why were you doing that? Because this goes to personal integrity, what kind of message you’re putting out. And this seems to be a distraction. You’ve now had injected into this, look at what Russia’s contacts are —

CONWAY: Okay, okay, Chris —

CUOMO: — with the campaign, this wiretapping that is without basis and the person who made the accusation can answer it with a phone call and for some reason hasn’t. It doesn’t seem right, Kellyanne. 

CONWAY: I’m allowed to talk about things that are in the news without you questioning anybody’s personal integrity. There were articles last week about how we surveil each other now generally and that’s what I was talking about it.

CUOMO: I understand that they were, but you answered to a specific question about this and it seemed to be an effective way of putting more doubt on a situation. That’s what it came across as. That’s why I want to talk to you about it.

CONWAY: Maybe to you and maybe to other people who don’t necessarily want Donald Trump to be the President, but to other people, they see it as what it was — talking about news articles and talking about surveillance generally. It was not talking about the Trump campaign. That’s what investigations are for and the House and Senate Intelligence Committee has agreed with President Trump and they will have the investigation, and that we will comment further after it’s done. But also, you know, I talk about any number of things, everything in the news. He’s repealing and replacing ObamaCare. There are people who have a health insurance card who literally can’t use it. They can’t afford the deductions and the premiums. That’s something that impacts American lives. Let’s talk about real things, not fantasy things.

This post originally appeared on NewsBusters

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