White House deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka on Wednesday sparred with CNN's Anderson Cooper, insisting the Russia story was "fake news" and debunking reports the Trump administration was paralyzed by the fallout over recent developments.
"It's laughable," Gorka said of the "bunker" reports. "I work in the West Wing. I work in the White House.
"It is absolutely nothing of the kind.
"We are pushing the 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Gorka said. "The president is a steam locomotive that will not be stopped."
He then slammed the report, along with those about Donald Trump Jr.'s email release Tuesday about last year's meeting with the Russian operative, as "fake news."
"I'm sad to see CNN fall to this," Gorka told Cooper. "I know you want salacious, sensational coverage for your ratings, so your corporate sponsors and owners will have more money.
"But that's not media, it's just fake news," he said.
"OK," Cooper retorted. "I'm just going to ignore the insults, because I don't think it gets us anywhere . . ."
"It's not about you, but having journalism back on TV," Gorka said. "Where are the Walter Cronkites of yesteryear?
"This is just about ratings and money. It's quite sad."
Gorka then insisted Trump Jr. has been "completely transparent" about his June 2016 meeting with the lawyer under the guise of receiving damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"I stand by what the president and his son said," he told Cooper. "We are impressed by Don Jr.'s transparency and the fact that he published these emails."
"He only published them because The New York Times got them and was going to publish them – and he smartly got ahead of this," Cooper intoned.
"The story only has legs because the fake news-industrial complex is obsessed," Gorka responded. "Nine months of accusations with zero, zero evidence of anything illegal."
The banter continued, with Gorka finally asking: "You know why the president's description of a 'witch hunt' is accurate? Because there never were witches – and there never was any collusion.
"It's bogus," he said.
"You're claiming that Donald Trump Jr. was transparent from the get-go?" Cooper asked.
"Donald Trump Jr. is transparent, absolutely . . ."
". . . He didn't just release his e-mails . . . ?"
"You're like a broken record," Gorka said.
"I'm not getting any answers from you," Cooper said.
"I'm answering you every time."
"You're responding, but you're not answering."
"Let's let the viewers judge," Gorka said. "You're now in 13th place in the ratings, behind Nick at Nite. . . ."
"I think it's funny that you have enough time at the White House that you sit around and read Nielsen numbers," Cooper said.
"I get a good prep from my team," Gorka said. "I don't deal with this stuff, because I do have a day job."
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