‘Be an Apple, Don't Be a Banana’: Conway Schools Cuomo on Drug Trafficking

Sparks flew during Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time when White House adviser Kellyanne Conway sparred with rude and demeaning host Chris Cuomo as they discussed the news of the day. But during one particular section, Conway took Cuomo to task for twisting the facts about the administration’s response to the opioid crisis and the border wall’s effectiveness on drug trafficking. “Be an apple, don’t be a banana,” she quipped, harkening back to a ridiculous CNN promotional ad.

Cuomo was a staunch supporter of the anti-Trump “Resistance,” so it really wasn’t a surprise when he claimed that the administration wasn’t doing anything to stop the opioid crisis damaging America. “Have you given funding to New Hampshire to fight opioids since you got in there? No,” he spat in a rage. “Yes, we have. What are you talking about,” Conway responded in shock.

“Do you know what the Cures Act is? Do you know what the SAMHSA grants do? Do you have any idea? I doubt it,” Conway chided. “I do, but the money has to get on the ground and it has to be put to work and that’s not happening yet the way it needs to be. That’s my point,” he angrily argued. The fact was, the Trump administration had declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency, which allowed for federal agencies to award additional grant money to fight the epidemic. If Cuomo wanted more funding he should listen to West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchinwho said that’s Congress’ job.

The CNN host went off the deep end when he claimed that Trump’s proposed border wall wouldn’t stop drug trafficking because it didn’t come in that way. “Do you know how drugs come into this country,” he yelled at the conservative woman condescendingly. “Do you know how the majority of it gets into this country?” “Educate me, please,” the first female campaign head to win a presidential race told him.

 

 

Putting up a wall isn’t going to stop illegal drugs coming into this country and you know that (…) They come by air and they come in tunnels. I’ve been in them. I’ve been in those tunnels. Very cramped. Very scary,” Cuomo declared.

“I’m sorry Christopher. Are you telling the viewers that no drugs come through the southern border? Did you just say that,” Conway asked seeming confused by Cuomo’s ignorant declaration. “Facts first. Be an apple, don’t be a banana,” she quipped in reference to CNN’s ridiculous “this is an apple” ads.

Seeing the error in his smear, Cuomo changed his claim of all drugs to just one: “Saying a wall will keep fentanyl out of this country, which the President said today, is a joke because it comes by cargo ship and cargo plane.” “This is high-grade pharmaceuticals, not something strapped on someone’s back that one of your friends said ‘walking them across with cantaloupe caves.’ It’s not true it’s a fiction” He seemed to forget that it could possibly come through in the tunnels he mentioned.

Cuomo’s focus on what the President mentioned that day neglected the fact that on numerous other occasions Trump had noted that the wall would stop drugs in general. “You don’t think any opioids come through the southern border? None. You don’t think any drugs come through,” Conway jabbed. And his mocking of drug mules was ridiculous seeing as Netflix’s new documentary on the drug war Dope accompanied cartel drug runners and scouts as they cross the southern border in episode three.

Conway was back on after they took a commercial break and she almost immediately called Cuomo out for denying that a border wall would stop drug traffickers: “I still can't get to you agree that it's worthwhile. You said it’s not going to help interdict any drugs that this is silly, that they come through airplanes and ports. That’s just false.” “No I said—That’s not what I said. You’re right, that is just false because that’s not what I said,” he snapped bitterly.

But as these direct quotes clearly show: He did.

The relevant portion of the transcript below:

 

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CNN
Cuomo Prime Time
January 10, 2018
9:10:30 PM Eastern

(…)

CHRIS CUOMO: Have you given funding to New Hampshire to fight opioids since you got in there? No!

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes, we have. What are you talking about?!

CUOMO: How so? What money has been apportioned?

CONWAY: Every state got money through the SAMSHA grant.

CUOMO That’s what Sherrod Brown said at the meeting today: This is a good move, stop fentanyl as it comes across the border, but you have to give money to communities as well. We'll see what you do on it. That would be important work.

CONWAY: Do you know what the Cures Act is? Do you know what the SAMHSA grants do? Do you have any idea? I doubt it.

CUOMO: I do but the money has to get on the ground and it has to be put to work and that’s not happening yet the way it needs to be. That’s my point.

CONWAY: It’s nice to have an administration that is actually focused on it, focused on interjection of law enforcement, treatment, and recovery, and apprehensive education.

CUOMO: If it results in action.

CONWAY: There is action. The whole reason the President wants to have a wall, and he will build that wall, is in part to stop the flow of illegal immigration, but in large part also to stop the flow of illicit drugs. It’s poisoning, it’s killing--

CUOMO: Do you know how drugs come into this country?

CONWAY: Many ways: Through the southern border, through the U.S. Postal Service. Many different ways, drugs come into this country and it has to stop.

CUOMO: Do you know how the majority of it gets into this country?

CONWAY: Educate me, please.

CUOMO: Well, you know the answer. You know the wall, which we don’t even know--that's another topic for tonight. I don’t even know what you mean when you say a wall anymore.

CONWAY: If you want to know I’ll answer it right now.

CUOMO: Hold on. I don't want to run away from this because this is an important point.

[Crosstalk]

CUOMO: Putting up a wall isn’t going to stop illegal drugs coming into this country and you know that.

CONWAY: That’s ridiculous.

COUMO: They come by air and they come in tunnels. I’ve been in them. I’ve been in those tunnels. Very cramped. Very scary.

CONWAY: Are you saying—I’m sorry Christopher. Are you telling the viewers that no drugs come through the southern border? Did you just say that?

CUOMO: No. I'm saying the idea of a wall is going to be –

CONWAY: Facts first. Be an apple, don’t be a banana.

CUOMO: --the difference is a joke. Saying a wall will keep fentanyl out of this country, which the President said today, is a joke because it comes by cargo ship and cargo plane.

CONWAY: No, drugs out of this country.

CUOMO: This is high-grade pharmaceuticals, not something strapped on someone’s back that one of your friends said “walking them across with cantaloupe caves.” It’s not true it’s a fiction.

CONWAY: Actually, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Well hold on Chris, do you know what percentage of—You don’t think any opioids come through the southern border? None. You don’t think any drugs come through?

(…)

9:20:32 PM Eastern

CONWAY: But make no mistake, you've prototypes I hope. You know that many different firms bid on constructing the border wall. And that is something at is an incredibly important piece of this. But I still can't get to you agree that it's worthwhile. You said it’s not going to help interdict any drugs that this is silly, that they come through airplanes and ports. That’s just false.

CUOMO: No I said—That’s not what I said. You’re right, that is just false because that’s not what I said.

(…)


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