GOP Rep. Calls Out Media for Jumping to Conclusions with No Evidence, Cuomo Accuses Deception

Congressman Sean Duffy called out the media on Friday morning for their hysterical reporting without evidence. On CNN’s New Day, Duffy scolded anchor Chris Cuomo: "On the influence of the investigation as CNN, a news network, what information do we have about this memo, about this influence? I mean, all you have is a phone call to the FBI -- I'm sorry, to the New York Times, an undisclosed person, an undisclosed memo." The Wisconsin Republican continued: "We have none of that information, Chris, and to jump to conclusions about influencing, that's a far reach."

Noting that he and Cuomo were "two attorneys," Duffy hammered: "You and I wouldn't convict anyone on that evidence. We wouldn't even charge anyone with that evidence. We would go, hold on a second, I have to see this stuff. I want to talk to the person who read it. We haven't seen any of that. That's what concerns me on that front. I have all the faith in the FBI. I do think there is great people in that organization. They look for the truth, they don't look for politics. I think they could have done the investigation."

The Congressman took CNN and the rest of media to task for entertaining wild left-wing talk of impeachment:

If you’re a viewer of of, or a consumer of news, I don’t think that point has been made, and I think you are making a reasonable point, that I don't know. I think if I listen to different panels on different networks, I think the drumbeat is there must be something there, there's got to be evidence, there is collusion. Why are people talking about impeachment? I've heard the impeachment story for days, Chris. It's because there would have been evidence then of collusion between President Trump and the Russians. And you just pointed out and agree with me that we haven't seen any evidence thus far publicly to that fact. So why is there a drumbeat of impeachment?...I think the news media and Democrats are jumping the gun and they’re talking about impeachment, talking about collusion, when we don't have any evidence -- it could be there -- but no public evidence exists to that point right now, and I think that point should readily be made not only by all politicians but all news outlets, because it doesn't exist. It could come. And I would love to have that conversation.

But of course, the reliably slanted Cuomo claimed that affirming this fact that there is currently no evidence of collusion, is “deceptive.” See the antics he displayed on Thursday. He asked Duffy: “But we don’t know what the evidence is. Why do you think you would know if there is evidence of collusion? Why would you know?” Based on this logic, Duffy should have asked if Cuomo should be investigated for murder, because of course, how could we know if evidence of such a crime does not exist if we do not investigate?

That’s not to say some sort of investigation is not necessary, although a Congressional one would have worked just fine. However, the media’s willingness to suggest wrongdoing without evidence demonstrates clear liberal bias. After all, there was no such eagerness to investigate any of the scandals that occurred under President Obama’s watch (Operation Fast and Furious, IRS targeting conservatives, DOJ spying on reporters, unconstitutional executive orders, Benghazi, etc.) or Hillary’s for that matter.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Duffy went on to explain, in all likelihood, if there was evidence, we probably would have heard about it by now with all the leaking that is occurring in Washington:

Washington is leaking like a sieve. There is no secrets. The President, President Trump can't have a conversation with the President of Mexico without it being leaked. There can't be a conversation with a, um, foreign diplomat without that conversation being leaked. There are no secrets. And, uh, whether it's the conversations that Flynn had, that information was unmasked and leaked. Leaks everywhere. If there was evidence, if there was information about Donald Trump colluding with the Russians, I have every confidence that would have been leaked to the press and you would have been able to run with that story because everything has been leaked. There are no secrets, there are no secrets, no private conversations and that's why I have some pause –

If journalists covered the Obama administration the way they are covering the current administration, it would have ended in impeachment.

See the more complete transcript of the May 19 exchange below:

7:24 AM ET

CHRIS CUOMO: I mean, I think that the motivation for Rosenstein was to have one that people can trust, that he can trust, that seems to have integrity and seems to have some arm's length after what seemed to be pretty clear indications for the President of the United States, he wanted to influence this investigation.

SEAN DUFFY: So, but I want to take a pause on that. On the influence of the investigation as CNN, a news network, what information do we have about this memo, about this influence? I mean, all you have is a phone call to the FBI -- I'm sorry, to the New York Times, an undisclosed person, an undisclosed memo. We should be able -- as two attorneys, we should be able to evaluate the credibility of the person who makes a statement to the New York Times. We should be able to look at the full context of the memo. We have none of that information, Chris, and to jump to conclusions about influencing, that's a far reach. You and I wouldn't convict anyone on that evidence. We wouldn't even charge anyone with that evidence. We would go, hold on a second, I have to see this stuff. I want to talk to the person who read it. We haven't seen any of that. That's what concerns me on that front. I have all the faith in the FBI. I do think there is great people in that organization. They look for the truth, they don't look for politics. I think they could have done the investigation. But again, there is no win in trying to resist what is inevitable with Mr. Mueller. If it's going to happen, I think he'll do a good job.

CUOMO: You make a lot of points that deserve consideration, Congressman. First of all, I would hope you have the same perspective on members of your own party that say there is no evidence of collusion because we both know as attorneys, it is naive at best to suggest we could know. We don't know what the FBI has or what they don’t have now in the hands of Bob Mueller, and to suggest that this relatively early in an investigation for the FBI, they often look at things for years, that they should know or they should’ve told people what they have and the proof is out there, that's equally deceptive, don't you think?

DUFFY: So, so, again, I'm not buying into the fact that there was any collusion between President Trump and Russia.

CUOMO: But you can’t know whether there was or not. That’s my point. How do you know there was none, how do you know that there was? You can't know. You don't know the proof.

DUFFY: But, Chris, I agree with you, but you don't know that, either. And we’re running, the cable news networks are, you know, a flame of running stories about collusion between Trump and Russia, and you don't know and I don't know that.

CUOMO: Right, but it's equally wrong. If you don't like that some media -- and I know you're not talking about us, because you know I’d never front-run it. But, if you don't like that people are artificially saying there was collusion, to say artificially that there was no collusion is equally wrong, right? You're not being better in that solution, you’re being a manifestation of the same problem.

DUFFY: What I think is happening is, there’s a conversation about collusion. And my point is, there’s no evidence of collusion. What I do know is --

CUOMO: [Interrupting] But we don’t know what the evidence is. Why do you think you would know if there is evidence of collusion? Why would you know?

DUFFY:  Here's why I think I would know. Washington is leaking like a sieve. There is no secrets. The President, President Trump can't have a conversation with the President of Mexico without it being leaked. There can't be a conversation with a, um, foreign diplomat without that conversation being leaked. There are no secrets. And, uh, whether it's the conversations that Flynn had, that information was unmasked and leaked. Leaks everywhere. If there was evidence, if there was information about Donald Trump colluding with the Russians, I have every confidence that would have been leaked to the press and you would have been able to run with that story because everything has been leaked. There are no secrets, there are no secrets, no private conversations and that's why I have some pause --

CUOMO: You can have pause. You can have pause. There is every reason for pause because it's an unknown. I'm just saying it's such a gross assumption that you're making. Because it didn't leak, we should assume it's not true. However, when information does leak, you question it because it was leaked. I mean don't you see the politics at play in that?

DUFFY: No. Take a step back. You have no evidence of, there was collusion or there wasn't collusion. There is no evidence to either of our sides.

CUOMO: [Interrupting] No no no. That's not accurate. We don't know. What I'm saying is I don't know what they have. You're saying, yeah, but it would have leaked and it hasn't leaked, so there must be none.

DUFFY: But, Chris.            

CUOMO: That's what you're saying.

DUFFY: Okay, so there is no public information --

CUOMO: Yeah.

DUFFY: --Right now about collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, right? We agree on that point?

CUOMO: I say that's a fair statement. Some people will argue otherwise, but I take your point.

DUFFY: But I would say, what is the evidence? I haven't seen any evidence to that fact between Trump and Russia.

CUOMO: You know the old notion from Barry Scheck when it came to DNA evidence. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? Remember, we all would try to figure out what that all means? The point ultimately ends up being, just because we don't know doesn't mean you should assume the negative. That it must not exist because I don't know about it yet. The investigation is ongoing. Isn't respecting the process, not speculating on what you know and what you don’t? You guys make that point all the time.

DUFFY: So, Chris, if you’re a viewer of of or a consumer of news, I don’t think that point has been made, and I think you are making a reasonable point, that I don't know. I think if I listen to different panels on different networks, I think the drumbeat is there must be something there, there's got to be evidence, there is collusion. Why are people talking about impeachment? I've heard the impeachment story for days, Chris. It's because there would have been evidence then of collusion between President Trump and the Russians. And you just pointed out and agree with me that we haven't seen any evidence thus far publicly to that fact. So why is there a drumbeat of impeachment?

CUOMO: Politics. And what I'm saying is it's equally egregious to assume --

DUFFY: [Interrupting] We can’t feed into that narrative. Because we are above that.

CUOMO: I'm saying it's equally egregious. Yeah, but you’re feeding the opposite narrative--

DUFFY: No I’m not.

CUOMO: -- Which I'm saying is symptomatic of the same problem of politics. That’s all. I think they are equally egregious. Saying there should be impeachment when you don't know the proof is the same as saying well there will never be anything wrong because there is no proof, because they are both based in ignorance.

DUFFY: I don't want to ping-pong with you, but I want to be very clear on one point.

CUOMO: Please.

DUFFY: If there is evidence, I would love to come back and talk about that evidence. I think the news media and Democrats are jumping the gun and they’re talking about impeachment, talking about collusion, when we don't have any evidence -- it could be there -- but no public evidence exists to that point right now, and I think that point should readily be made not only by all politicians but all news outlets, because it doesn't exist. It could come. And I would love to have that conversation.

CUOMO: But don't say it doesn't exist. Just say we don't know. And would you also agree that calling it a witch hunt and a hoax at this point is also wrong?

DUFFY: You're splicing my words in that there is no public evidence today. We don’t have any public evidence-- we don’t have any. There could be private evidence, there is no public evidence. So you don't have any and I don't have any. That's the point I'm making.

CUOMO: I’m just saying, I've never heard you make that point about any other investigation. If an investigation is ongoing, you don't question what you know or don't know because it hasn't concluded. It hasn't been revealed. That's the whole point of the investigation is to find out. Why would you jump the process for political advantage in either way?

DUFFY: Why would Democ– why would you jump the conversation?--

CUOMO: I am not. You are and I'm not. That’s the difference. I’m saying we don’t know. You're saying there is no proof of collusion so there must be none.

DUFFY: So I’m not, I’m not saying there is no collusion. I'm saying I don’t think there’s any collusion based on what I've seen.

CUOMO: What's the difference? There’s no collusion, I don't think there’s no collusion. Both ones are based without any evidence.

DUFFY: We'll move on from this point, I’m sure, but your network is running the stories nonstop and you and I agree that you don't have any evidence and I don't have any evidence at this point.

CUOMO: I am just saying--

DUFFY: And we're running stories about it, and that concerns me.

CUOMO: –We don’t know what they have, and that’s why calling it a hoax and a witch hunt is equally egregious as saying it's a home run for impeachment.

DUFFY: Okay, I look at this point, [laughs] We'll agree to have semantic conversations here.

CUOMO: No, I don't think it's semantic, and Congressman look, I appreciate your perspective on this. You’re right that there is politics in play, I'm just saying you got to call it on both sides. That's all. I appreciate you making the case. As always, you're always welcome here. You are a fair broker.

(...)

CyberAlerts Congress Russia Government Agencies Media Bias Debate Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN New Day Sean Duffy James Comey Chris Cuomo Donald Trump
Alex Xenos's picture