Tags: Trump Administration | cuomo | conway | spar

Cuomo, Conway Spar Over CNN's Role, Trump Coverage

("New Day"/YouTube)

By    |   Monday, 10 Jul 2017 11:16 AM

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN's Chris Cuomo sparred for more than a half-hour on the network's "New Day" program Monday, with her accusing the network of reporting more about Russia than it does about the United States.

"CNN spent a full week plus doing nothing but having these headlines saying President [Donald] Trump is not expected to bring up Russian interference with President Vladimir Putin," Conway told Cuomo during the wide-ranging interview.

"He made it top of the agenda. It was first on the list. He pressed him early and often . . . aren't you the least bit reluctant, if not embarrassed that you now talk about Russia more than you talk about America?"

Cuomo replied that he is not embarrassed by the coverage, and that he stands behind his own reporting on the subject.

"The day before the meeting, the president was very squishy on Russian interference," said Cuomo. "He said okay, it was Russia, but it was other people. Nobody knows for sure. That was his last public statement about it before he went into a meeting, and then a meeting in which he didn't allow a notetaker to be in it. We don't have any readout from it."

Meanwhile, Conway, who also appeared on Fox News' "Fox &Friends" and ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday, defended Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, insisting that there was "no information provided that was meaningful."

"Let's focus on what did not happen in that meeting . . . there was no action taken. Nothing," she said.

Over the weekend, the president's son said he met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016, after he'd been offered information that would be helpful to his father's campaign. The meeting, taking place at Trump Tower, also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Conway said Trump Jr. had taken the meeting based on connections he'd made through the Miss Universe pageant, but that he didn't know the name of the person with whom he was meeting.

"They get into the meeting and it quickly turns into a pretext for Russian adoption, according to his statements, that the comments this woman is making about any type of information on Hillary Clinton," she said.

On Saturday, though, Trump said he, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign adviser Paul Manafort had discussed the issue of adoption of Russian children. He said Monday he "simply provided more details."

Cuomo argued with Conway Monday about the story changing "twice," and said that if he was in a court of law, it would not be good to change the story.

"There are big implications when you change your story like this," Cuomo said. "Even if it is true, whether or not it was good information, Kellyanne, doesn't mean it was a smart move to take a meeting with a Russian-connected person who was going to give you negative information about your opponent. That could create huge legal issues. You know that."

Conway replied that she admires Cuomo's "moxie, sitting there with the CNN chyron next to you."

"I could not be more proud to have that CNN chyron next to me," Cuomo told her, leading her to shoot back that she "cannot be more proud representing the White House."

Conway also told Cuomo that CNN should be spending more time covering Trump's positive actions, such as on veterans or infrastructure, but Cuomo told her his "conscience is clean."

"I cover what I think matters to people," he told her. "I test power and I take the consequences every damn day. And that's not going to change."

The interview and arguments continued even though Cuomo tried to wrap it up several times, with Cuomo finally telling Conway her own handlers were insisting it had to end.

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN's Chris Cuomo sparred for more than a half-hour on the network's "New Day" program Monday, with her accusing the network of reporting more about Russia than it does about the United States.
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2017-16-10
Monday, 10 Jul 2017 11:16 AM
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