CNN’s Cuomo, Lemon Blast Republicans, ‘Embarrassing’ Strzok Hearing as ‘A Sham,’ ‘Travesty’

Following the tone set by The Situation Room panel hours earlier Thursday reacting to the congressional hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok, CNN host Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon blasted Republicans as having conducted a hearing that was a “sham” and “travesty” that did the bidding or Russia and proved “why people want to vote the bums out” (read: Republicans, not Democrats).

“That hearing today was 10 hours of travesahamockery [sic]. The travesty wrapped in a sham, wrapped in a mockery, not my word but it fits. You had the angry Republicans who didn't make the case that bias tainted the probe, the high dungeon Democrats who had contempt for the other side,” Cuomo began in his final segment and providing the only allusion to what he didn’t like about his family employer (aka the Democratic Party).

 

 

Cuomo reacted to a rather bizarre exchange with Strzok and Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar in which Gosar mentioned his background as a dentist. That aside, Cuomo took issue with Gosar correctly noting that America is not exactly a democracy. 

The CNN host noted that a constitutional republic is a form of democracy, but Cuomo’s smugness was unnecessary. 

At any rate, in his handoff to Lemon, he complained that all the top Republicans from the hearing went on Fox News Channel and not CNN. Of course, this was done without considering what it says about CNN as a hostile sibling alongside MSNBC:

What we don't know is why these two sides can't come together for you. They worked for you. We asked all the big Republicans to come on who were big at the hearing today, none of them came on. They all went on Fox, alright? Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon will start right now. We asked them all. We gave them the opportunity to make the case. They all went to the mother ship and as long as it continues that way, it can't be common ground. 

Lemon replied that it illustrated how hearings are “going to be partisan, but I mean, this is — this hyperpartisanship that we’re in now is just really unprecedented and is — it’s really been unbelievable.” For the record, almost always assume journalists mean conservatives and Republicans not working with Democrats when bemoaning partisanship.

Lemon added that he actually felt “embarrassed watching today” and lamented that these are the men and women “running this country” (again, read: Republicans).

“What — what is going? Now we know why people want to vote the bums out,” he quipped.

Cuomo shot back that there’s “hope...that people will say we want better, no matter your stripe, right, left or reasonable that you make different choices based on what you’re seeing.”

Lemon eventually started his show, summarizing the day this way (click “expand” to read them in full):

[W]hat we saw on Capitol Hill was nasty, a hearing that erupted into chaos from the first question, a partisan bare knuckled brawl. Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok going head to head with House Republicans well into the night, vigorously defending himself against attacks over his anti-Trump texts....It was a day of shouting matches and speeches disguised as questions which he didn't get a chance to really answer or rebut much of the time. All of it playing out on live TV....Ladies and gentlemen, the Congress of the United States of America, our leaders, we voted them in. Playing politics and trying to discredit the Russia investigation just days before President Trump's face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin. One thing is for sure, if Russia intended to sow discord in this country, mission accomplished. 

To see the relevant transcript from July 13's Cuomo PrimeTime and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, click “expand.”

CNN’s Cuomo PrimeTime and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
July 12, 2018
9:58 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: That hearing today was 10 hours of travesahamockery [sic]. The travesty wrapped in a sham, wrapped in a mockery, not my word but it fits. You had the angry Republicans who didn't make the case that bias tainted the probe, the high dungeon Democrats who had contempt for the other side, but it is Republican Paul Gosar who takes the prize for showing this situation at its best and for that I mean at its worst. 

ARIZONA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR: This morning, I watched — by the way, I'm a dentist, okay? So I read body language very, very well and I watched you comment on actions with Mr. Gowdy. You got very angry in regards to the Gold Star father. That shows me that it's innately a part of you and a bias. 

PETER STRZOK,: Sir, I disagree. I don't know if you're saying this experience is like being at the dentist if that's what you're suggesting —

GOSAR: Okay, so lemme —

STRZOK: — but what I would — what I would tell you, sir, what you see in my response, what you see in my response is a genuine passion for the United States of America. 

CUOMO: I'm a dentist so I read body language very, very well? Is that in the same vein as I'm not a dentist but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night and I gladly do your dentures? Crazy. Anyway, he followed up with this. 

GOSAR: We are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic, that is why we have two ways both from a democracy voting and then from the -- where we have the Electoral College. So, make sure — 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time of the gentleman has expired. 

CUOMO: What say? First of all, a representative — a constitutional republic is a form of democracy and yes, we have the popular vote and we have the electoral vote. My 12-year-old knows all of that even if it stumped a congressman there for a second. What we don't know is why these two sides can't come together for you. They worked for you. We asked all the big Republicans to come on who were big at the hearing today, none of them came on. They all went on Fox, alright? Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon will start right now. We asked them all. We gave them the opportunity to make the case, 

DON LEMON: We certainly did.

CUOMO: They all went to the mother ship and as long as it continues that way, it can't be common ground. 

LEMON: It just you just what — while that wasn’t supposed to be the purpose of today's hearing but that’s what it turned into. Of course, we know it’s going to be partisan, but I mean, this is — this hyperpartisanship that we’re in now is just really unprecedented and is — it’s really been unbelievable. I was embarrassed watching today. I was sitting there saying, Chris, this is who is running our country. What — what is going? Now we know why people want to vote the bums out. 

CUOMO: Well, you know, and you know what? That’s the hope. The hope is that people will say we want better, no matter your stripe, right, left or reasonable that you make different choices based on what you’re seeing, but look. I'm a lawyer which means I've very, very good at eating Chinese food. 

LEMON: Or reading body language. 

CUOMO: What was that?

LEMON: I have no idea.

CUOMO: Sounded like you and me after ten drinks on the weekend. 

LEMON: Ah, well, speak for yourself. But I do have to say, you know, we have to figure out what we're going to do and I don't think the people in Washington, many of them, did themselves a service today — any service. Thank you, sir, Chris.

CUOMO: Guaranteed.

LEMON: Thank you, Chris. See you soon. Nice job. This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon and what we saw on Capitol Hill was nasty, a hearing that erupted into chaos from the first question, a partisan bare knuckled brawl. Embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok going head to head with House Republicans well into the night, vigorously defending himself against attacks over his anti-Trump texts. 

[STRZOK CLIP]

LEMON: It was a day of shouting matches and speeches disguised as questions which he didn't get a chance to really answer or rebut much of the time. All of it playing out on live TV. In one embarrassing exchange after another, like this one about his affair with a former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. 

[GOHMERT VS. STRZOK CLIP]

[LEMON SHAKES HEAD]

LEMON: Do you need your medication? We’re going to hear from her in just moments. And can you say about this exchange.

[GOSAR VS. STRZOK EXCHANGE]

LEMON: Ladies and gentlemen, the Congress of the United States of America, our leaders, we voted them in. Playing politics and trying to discredit the Russia investigation just days before President Trump's face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin. One thing is for sure, if Russia intended to sow discord in this country, mission accomplished. 


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