Sebastian Gorka to CNN: 'What You've Just Spun Is Classic Fake News'

Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka and CNN New Day co-host Chris Cuomo went head to head Monday morning. Cuomo began the interview by coming out swinging, claiming the President's executive orders on immigration were about targeting Muslims and keeping them out.

Gorka pointed out that neither the largest Muslim nation (Indonesia) nor the largest Arab nation (Egypt) are included in the ban. He questioned how it could be a Muslim ban with these characteristics:

So if this had anything, and I mean anything, to do with race or religion, why would those two nations, the most populous Muslim nations, and the most populous Arab nation not be included on the executive order? Explain that logic to me, because this is where your spin fails. This is where the fake news propaganda collapses, because if we had some dark dread ulterior motive, then those are the first two first nations you would put on the list, not the seven nations that the Obama White House identified as the greatest concern. Please answer that question.

Cuomo never did answer that question despite his insistence that he did (see transcript below). When Gorka called him out on this fact, he first claimed that the administration was masking its intention to ban Muslims. He then pivoted, claiming that Trump's actions send an ugly message to our Muslim community here in the United States.

Gorka responded: "Well, unfortunately, what you've just spun is classic fake news."

Cuomo said that Trump's language proves that his current intent is to ban all Muslims. Gorka correctly pointed out, That's not proof.

Cuomo then doubled down, stating that his intention is clear. I was unaware that Cuomo had the ability to read minds. Using something that Trump said and then walked back on the campaign trail is not sufficient to make that claim. This is especially true considering that claim was walked back and because the ban excludes the largest Muslim populations.

Gorka later brought up that the Obama administration refused to properly vet foreigners applying for Visas:

We're here to protect Americans. So answer me this question. When the last administration forbade the State Department from looking at the public postings on the Facebook pages of foreigners applying for Visas to America, do you think that was a good move?

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

Cuomo, like any good Democratic operative, refused to criticize the move, and then when pressed, actually defended the move after attempting to pivot again:

CUOMO: Well, look, it's not for me to opine on an administration's good or bad nature.

GORKA: While you're opining the whole time about the Trump administration--

CUOMO: There are questions about the intentions—

GORKA: Chris. Be honest. You're opining the whole time. Your show is opining.

(...)

GORKA: So it's a good idea not to look at Facebook postings? So it’s a good idea?

CUOMO: Well, it wasn't just Facebook postings. It was instant messaging which isn't public so it would have been going into her private communications.

GORKA: Don't change the subject.

CUOMO: No that's a fact. I'm adding a fact to what you're putting out there.

GORKA: But you're not answering the question. They were forbidden from looking at public Facebook postings, is that smart when it’s protecting Americans?

CUOMO: We have concerns here about privacy. It’s an evolving dialogue with the American people.

GORKA: Facebook is not private, Chris. Facebook is not private. You know that, right? Twitter is not private.

Cuomo seems to think foreigners have constitutional rights that come before the safety of American citizens. But, as Gorka correctly points out, they are public profiles anyway. This so-called journalist bends over backwards to defend his hero Obama, but will stop at nothing to take down President Trump. But in the eyes of Cuomo, he is doing the work of the people. Towards the end of the interview Cuomo proclaimed: “I think I'm giving them exactly what they need, which is the information and analysis about the heart and mind of the president – ”

Maybe I am missing something here, but how does he know what is in the “heart and mind of the president,” and if he is a journalist, why is he sharing his “analysis?”

Gorka responded to this ridiculous statement, asserting: “You're not analyzing the facts.”

See the transcript of the June 5 heated exchange below:

8:09 AM ET

CHRIS CUOMO: However, the facts are not your friend here, because that move with the executive order from the Obama administration was about travel to those countries. It was about who's coming in and out and why. Your order is about Muslims. About targeting Muslims and keeping them out.

SEBASTIAN GORKA: Chris, let's stop that.

CUOMO: And allowing those who are not Muslim a carve out to come in. Very different.

GORKA: Let's do a little bit of a 101, let’s do a little trivial pursuit. What is the most populous Muslim nation in the world, Chris?

CUOMO: You tell me. These are your answers.

GORKA: No no, you tell me what is the biggest Muslim nation in the world. Massive population.

CUOMO: You tell me. I want to give you the opportunity to lay it out.

GORKA: Oh, you don't know.

CUOMO: Assume I know nothing. Go ahead.

GORKA: It's Indonesia.

CUOMO: Right.

GORKA: I will assume you know nothing. What is the largest Arab nation in the world?

CUOMO: You tell me.

GORKA: Egypt, okay. So if this had anything, and I mean anything, to do with race or religion, why would those two nations, the most populous Muslim nations, and the most populous Arab nation not be included on the executive order? Explain that logic to me, because this is where your spin fails. This is where the fake news propaganda collapses, because if we had some dark dread ulterior motive, then those are the first two first nations you would put on the list, not the seven nation that the Obama White House identified as the greatest concern. So please answer that question.

CUOMO: I will, I will. First, what the Obama administration did was target travel from places that were known as hubs for terror, and that's different than what you're doing, because you're targeting nationality. You could add Saudi Arabia to your list. 15 of the hijackers came from there. They're not on your list. There's speculation as to why. But instead of looking who you didn't involve, you must look for legal and policy purposes at who you did involve, and those countries are all Muslim majority. You did a carve out for non-Muslims, and that's why it got struck down originally, allegedly recognized as being overreaching by people like you, which is why you drafted a second one, which the president said he authorized and approved of, and is now before the courts for scrutiny. So the intention is clear, that you wanted to target Muslims from those places. I see that you're a little slow to want to own that.

GORKA: No, I'm still waiting for you to answer why would you not include Indonesia and Egypt. You still have not answered the question. If it was about what you said it was about, then those would be the logical nations to include but we didn't. So how do you explain that, Chris?

CUOMO: I explain it by you wanting to go with the original model to make it easier to pass because you were mimicking what Obama did and therefore masking your true intention was to not make it about travel, make it about Muslims and as you well know not just in your own rhetoric but the president, he has said time and again that he thinks there's a problem with Islam. And that he thinks that the Muslims may have a problem with us and as you know, with what we're seeing in the U.K. right now, attachment to the community of Muslims is so important and the concern is that a move like this, trumpeted by the president in the midst of crisis in the U.K. sends an ugly message to our Muslim community here in the United States.

GORKA: Well, unfortunately, what you've just spun is classic fake news.

CUOMO: What is fake about what I said? What is factually inaccurate?

GORKA: There are no facts there. You are saying we used an Obama era analysis to quote –

CUOMO: No, you used his executive order. You duped the same country –

GORKA: To cloak our intention.

CUOMO: Right.

GORKA: Can you give me one piece of evidence for that?

CUOMO: Yes, the language. You picked the same countries, was that a coincidence?

GORKA: No, because that's what government does. Government looks at analysis.

CUOMO: [INTERUPTING] Right, you picked the same countries. That's a fact.

GORKA: What is your proof we had another intent? Give me just one piece of proof.

CUOMO: Well, the language from the president –

GORKA: That's not proof.

CUOMO: The same thing district courts have seized upon was that he clearly wants to keep Muslims out of the country, right or wrong, the people voted for Donald Trump in part on that issue, but his intention is clear.

GORKA: So that must be the intention of the Obama order as well. To keep Muslims out of the nation.

CUOMO: Again, the language is obviously different which is why it wasn't challenged in the courts the same way. It was about who is traveling in and out of there, and the potential for those governments to let or even harbor bad guys.

GORKA: Your selective choice of facts is really quite telling, because you do know that we did this with Iraq under the Obama administration and the administration didn't even tell anybody. Why is that?

CUOMO: I don't know exactly about their not telling people –

GORKA: Then why are you defending Obama?

CUOMO: But what I do know is that the United States administration worked very closely with Iraq in particular to build up its vetting capabilities, because of the unique nature of the threat there, and that's why there was concern when you guys included Iraq, and then you took Iraq off the list, which then raised questions about security intentions because obviously you have more concerns of people coming out of Iraq than the other countries.

GORKA: Let's get beyond your spin, let's talk about facts –

CUOMO: I don't think it's spin. I think it's a little bit of logic that you're having a tough time dealing with this in light of what the president said this morning.

GORKA: We’re here to do one thing. We're not here to discuss your spin. We're here to protect Americans. So answer me this question. When the last administration forbade the state department looking at the public postings on the Facebook pages of foreigners applying for Visas to America, do you think that was a good move?

CUOMO: I think that you have to judge the administration by how safe –

GORKA: Yes or no?

CUOMO: Well, look, it's not for me to opine on an administration's good or bad nature –

GORKA: While you're opining the whole time about the Trump administration,

CUOMO: There are questions about the intentions –

GORKA: Chris. Be honest. You're opining the whole time. Your show is opining.

CUOMO: I am not opining. I'm asking you questions and pushing back on your own arguments and you're good at making them. The word forbade that you use is not the one that I would have use, and when you look –

GORKA: So it's a good idea not to look at Facebook postings? So it’s a good idea?

CUOMO: Well, it wasn't just Facebook postings. It was instant messaging which isn't public so it would have been going into her private communications.

GORKA: Don't change the subject.

CUOMO: No that's a fact. I'm adding a fact to what you're putting out there.

GORKA: But you're not answering the question. They were forbidden from looking at public Facebook postings, is that smart when it’s protecting Americans?

CUOMO: We have concerns here about privacy. It’s an evolving dialogue with the American people.

GORKA: Facebook is not private, Chris. Facebook is not private. You know that, right? Twitter is not private.

CUOMO: Instant messaging –

GORKA: I'm not talking about instant messaging.

CUOMO: Yeah I know, but that's where the information was contained with the wife in San Bernardino.

GORKA: I'm asking about the regulations.

CUOMO: It's easy to over-talk when you don't like the answer.

GORKA: You won't answer the question, Chris, it's really telling.

CUOMO: I just did.

GORKA: No you changed it, you pivoted to messaging.

CUOMO: No, because I'm including the salient fact for you, Sebastian –

GORKA: But you're not answering my question.

CUOMO: It's not about her Facebook public posts. It's the private instant messaging.

GORKA: So that's a good policy?

CUOMO: It's a good debate to have about your policy as is banning Muslims. Is that what you want? It’s a policy consideration.

GORKA: I think it's fascinating that you will go to any degree not to criticize the last administration but you will opine in conspiracies –

CUOMO: I don't think that's true or fair at all.

(…)

CUOMO: Sebastian, I just want to get this straight, because you’re a smart guy. I want to make sure everyone understands your point. The President of the United States decides multiple times to tell the entire world what he wants our travel policy to be with respect to these Muslim countries, and you're saying ignore it, because it's a tweet, and not a piece of paper that says executive order on it. That's what you're saying?

GORKA: Now you're arguing from extremists and it's again disappointing. Did I say ignore? No I said don't obsess about it. We're now 20 minutes into this and this is clearly an obsession, Chris. Let's talk about the executive order and what that says, because I would love to discuss the substance of that, because that's what we're doing to protect Americans. But if you want to keep talking about the tweet, then you're not serving your audience well or the American public.

CUOMO: I think I'm giving them exactly what they need, which is the information and analysis about the heart and mind of the president –

GORKA: You're not analyzing the facts.

CUOMO: On an issue – listen, the fact is that he took the opportunity in the wake of London to say this is why I want the travel ban, and the original one.

GORKA: You're doing it again.

CUOMO: The one that targets Muslim majority populations. That's what he wants, Sebastian. You may not like it. It may be inconvenient for but--

GORKA: That's a lie, Chris, I work for the president.

CUOMO: It’s a lie?!

GORKA: It’s a lie.

CUOMO: He didn't tweet those things? He didn’t tweet those thing?

GORKA: That we are targeting people based upon religion, if we were Indonesia and Egypt would be on the executive order.

 CUOMO: They are all Muslim majority.

GORKA: Chris, it’s a lie.

CUOMO: But look, the fact you did not make it worse does not defend what you made it originally.

GORKA: No, it makes your argument collapse.

CUOMO: The fact that each of these countries is a Muslim majority is a fact and you made a carve-out for non-Muslims, that's a fact, and you should own those facts. The president is.

GORKA: Chris, you're doing a disservice to your viewers and to America, and security of this nation. The president is interested in one thing, making sure that terrorism doesn't happen in America. That's what the executive order is about, but if you want to keep talking about a tweet, then you're not serving that purpose either. But as somebody on the outside, it’s your responsibility as well.

(…)

CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Iraq Government Agencies Immigration Media Bias Debate Double Standards War on Terrorism Religion Islam CNN New Day Journalistic Issues White House Chris Cuomo Donald Trump
Alex Xenos's picture