If more cable news talking heads decide to take a cue from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the Trump campaign may have seen the end of its honeymoon with the mainstream media.
On Tuesday’s broadcast of New Day, Cuomo sat down for a lengthy interview with Donald Trump’s lawyer and adviser, Michael Cohen. (He of the opinion that wives can’t be raped by their husbands.) Rather than let Cohen just spew Trump’s latest boasts and talking points, like most of the cable news landscape has become accustomed to doing, Cuomo came prepared with reports and facts to counter Cohen’s rhetoric, which left the attorney flailing throughout.
Now, Cuomo has long been a combative interviewer, which is one of the reasons Trump’s team has tried to stay clear of the program, preferring to spend their weekday mornings on Fox & Friends and Morning Joe. But, there’s only so many broadcast hours on cable news mornings, so you can’t completely bypass the show. Thus, we were provided with the beautiful sight of a Trump flack desperately trying to deflect away the rank hypocrisy of one Donald J. Trump, and failing spectacularly.
Currently, Trump has taken to attacking Hillary and Bill Clinton, calling her an “enabler” while describing the former POTUS as a serial abuser of women. Early on, this was merely parroted by the MSM mouthpieces and presented as a way to show ‘both sides,’ as they are wont to do. However, online and print media started diving into Trump’s past positions and statements, like real news journalism is supposed to do, and found that not only was Trump supportive of Bill Clinton in the face of accusations of infidelity and abuse in the ’90s, but that Trump personally attacked those women.
Armed with these reports, Cuomo pushed hard on Cohen, pressing him to explain Trump’s different positions and advise how this wasn’t hypocrisy. He also told Cohen that it appears that the former reality TV star is throwing stones from a glass house, considering his own behavior in the past. (He briefly touched on the rape accusations levied against Trump.)
Below are just some examples of the exchanges seen during the interview, courtesy of Media Matters’ transcript:
COHEN: All he is doing is giving the facts.
CUOMO: No, no, no. He knew the facts then in the ’90s when this was all happening and he said it was all BS.
COHEN: He was a private citizen who was friendly with the Clintons, and he was trying to protect a friend, all right. Now, it’s a different game. It’s 2016, he is the presidential, he’s the Republican presidential nominee —
CUOMO: Michael. Michael, if you decide to run for office and people say, hey you knew Cuomo, you used to say he’s a good guy– now I’m running against him, Cuomo is a bum, that makes it okay?
CUOMO: Come on. Michael, please!
COHEN: He was not lying. He was protecting a friend.
CUOMO: What’s the difference?
COHEN: The difference is he was being a true friend. He was– it didn’t matter to him.
CUOMO: So he would be friends with a guy that he thought was a piece of crap, basically?
CUOMO: Why would I trust you if you say that all the things you said then were false?
COHEN: He was a private individual —
CUOMO: So you tell the truth when you’re politician but you lie when you’re private individual.
COHEN: He had no obligation to say anything to anybody.
CUOMO: He said plenty.
COHEN: So what? Because he is Donald Trump.
CUOMO: That’s the record of what you believe.
COHEN: No, no, no. It was — he was standing up for a man who he considered to be a friend at the time.
CUOMO: So he was saying things that he knew was untrue at the time?
CUOMO: Did he believe them to be true at the time?
COHEN: I don’t think he knew the answer. He was standing up for a friend.
CUOMO: This is about your guy, what he said: “Paula Jones is a loser and may be responsible for bringing down the president indirectly.” Did he know it or did he not know it?
COHEN: You’ll have to ask him that question. You’ll have to ask him that question.
CUOMO: Mike — Michael, that’ is a nice dodge, my friend — very well done on that. That’s what I’m saying is that’s the hypocrisy part. You defended the guy more than anybody else basically, who didn’t have to, and now you’re bringing all the same attacks, and saying “it’s different now, I’m running for office.” I think that sounds like hypocrisy.
Take note, fellow cable news hosts. This is how you handle an interview with the Trumpsters. You force them to confront the actual facts and ask them to explain away Trump’s flip-flops, contradictions, lies and exaggerations. Press them, don’t just treat the segment like free media for Trump’s campaign. This is an election for the President of the United States of America. This isn’t promotion for a reality show. Be more like Chris was today.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Raw Story: