CNN’s Cuomo Fears Trump Will Throw Him in Jail: ‘I Think About It Sometimes’

During an interview with President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani on Friday’s New Day, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo feared that the administration may throw him and other journalists in jail for reporting on leaks about the Russia investigation. Giuliani dismissed the melodramatic fretting and even jokingly offered to serve as Cuomo’s legal counsel.

After Giuliani condemned former FBI Director James Comey for leaking memos about his private meetings with the President to the press, Cuomo jumped in to praise the leaks: “Look, people leak. No, I’m not anti-leak, because I’m a journalist. I like leaks. I like to get the information so I can test power and get transparency....You’ve got whistle blowers all over the place that make a difference for the American people.”

 

 

Giuliani pushed back: “...the leaker is violating the law, the leaker is violating his oath. You or me getting the information, no problem. We’re entitled to get the information and we’re entitled under the First Amendment to speak about it and use it.”

Cuomo then worried:

Even though the President of the united States has raised questions about whether or not I should be able to get that information and whether or not we should be part of the hedging process on getting after leaks. You know he said it, right?...That maybe one of the ways we deal with these leaks is to go after the journalists as well. Do you like that idea?

Giuliani pointed out that the previous administration already took such action against journalists: “I mean, the Obama administration did that, too.” Cuomo admitted: “[Former Attorney General Eric] Holder went after journalists a little bit. It was roundly condemned.” He then pressed Trump’s lawyer: “So that was wrong, that was wrong. You didn’t like it, right?...But the President is suggesting that maybe you do that to us now. Is that okay?”

Giuliani rejected the idea: “He doesn’t want to put anybody in jail. The President hasn’t suggested putting any of you guys in jail.” Cuomo proclaimed: “He has done exactly that, actually....He says we’re the enemy of the American people.”

Making light of Cuomo’s overwrought concerns, Giuliani joked: “Oh, you guys would broadcast from inside the jail. We’d have to let you broadcast from inside....And I’d bring you Italian pastries.”

Cuomo was not amused: “Look. it’s not a joke....You know, I think about it sometimes.” Giuliani incredulously replied: “You do? No you don’t.” Cuomo continued: “That maybe a day will come to pass where he wants to move on people who criticize and test power.”

Giuliani jokingly assured him: “Now that I left my law firm, I’ll represent you. I’ll keep you out of jail.” Cuomo sarcastically responded: “Yeah, great. Just what I need.”

Here is a transcript of the May 18 exchange:

7:35 AM ET

(...)

CHRIS CUOMO: Look, people leak. No, I’m not anti-leak, because I’m a journalist. I like leaks. I like to get the information so I can test power and get transparency.

RUDY GIULIANI: I believe for an FBI agent it’s an offense for which they would be fired.

CUOMO: That’s what – look, but there’s also often risk for people who leak information. You’ve got whistle blowers all over the place that make a difference for the American people.

GIULIANI: It is one thing – the leaker is violating the law, the leaker is violating his oath. You or me getting the information, no problem. We’re entitled to get the information and we’re entitled under the First Amendment to speak about it and use it.

CUOMO: Right. Even though the President of the united States has raised questions about whether or not I should be able to get that information and whether or not we should be part of the hedging process on getting after leaks. You know he said it, right?

GIULIANI: What’s hedging? I don’t know what you’re –

CUOMO: That maybe one of the ways we deal with these leaks is to go after the journalists as well. Do you like that idea?

GIULIANI: Well, the Clinton administration did that – I mean, the Obama administration did that, too.

CUOMO: [Eric] Holder went after journalists a little bit. It was roundly condemned.

GIULIANI: And then the guy in Chicago put a journalist in jail...

CUOMO: But what I’m saying is this –

GIULIANI: ...for about a totally stupid investigation.

CUOMO: So that was wrong, that was wrong. You didn’t like it, right?

GIULIANI: I believe it’s wrong.

CUOMO: But the President is suggesting that maybe you do that to us now. Is that okay?  

GIULIANI: He doesn’t want to put anybody in jail. The President hasn’t suggested putting any of you guys in jail.

CUOMO: He has done exactly that, actually. Now, he’ll say, “I was musing, I was just throwing it out there,” but he has. He says we’re the enemy of the American people.  

GIULIANI: Oh, you guys would broadcast from inside the jail. We’d have to let you broadcast from inside.

CUOMO: Look. it’s not a joke.

GIULIANI: And I’d bring you Italian pastries.  

CUOMO: You know, I think about it sometimes, you know.

GIULIANI: You do? No you don’t.

CUOMO: That maybe a day will come to pass where he wants to move on people who criticize and test power.

GIULIANI: Now that I left my law firm, I’ll represent you. I’ll keep you out of jail.  

CUOMO: Yeah, great. Just what I need.

(...)


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