Some of you might remember when CNN's PrimeTime host Chris “Fredo” Cuomo went toe-to-toe last year with Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling regarding the baseless accusations of voter suppression against the black community. In fact, Sterling made Fredo look like such a fool, that the schooling made it into NewsBusters’ top Fredo moments of 2020. Well, Cuomo seemed to have a bit of a change of heart on Monday (the first episode of 2021) and highlighted Sterling refuting claims of election fraud.
After continuing his effort to stoke hatred of Republicans with dangerous rhetoric, and repeating debunked claims of insider trading against Georgia Senator David Perdue (R), Fredo declared: “The truth literally sickens these people.” “These people” being Republicans.
He added: “And remember this. I'm not telling you something that isn't known, that you don't even know by now. The truth is known. Their own party members confirm it. Takes us to exhibit C.”
Cuomo immediately highlighted a soundbite of Sterling at a press conference on Monday going through a list of President Trump’s accusations of election fraud in Georgia and refuting them:
STERLING: There is no shredding of ballots going on. That's not real. It's not happening. [Transition] No one is changing parts or pieces out of Dominion voting machines. That’s not real – I don’t know what that means. That’s not a real thing. [Transition] Secretary Raffensperger does not have a brother named Ron Raffensperger. That is also not real. The President tweeted that out as well.
“That guy is a Republican, by the way,” Cuomo boasted, failing to remind viewers Sterling was once a guest on the show. Yet, it was only seven months ago that Fredo was trying to paint Sterling as a liar and a villain following the Democratic primary for president.
“Here is the tragedy of the travesty that the President has created on this issue: We have real voter suppression concerns. One is playing out now. Proof,” Cuomo proclaimed at the time, playing a video of the long lines. “This is the only type of widespread voter fraud we will ever see.”
Cuomo tried to make Sterling answer for supposed racism and voter suppression (click “expand”):
All right. Let's talk about exactly that. For some context for people, 2018, 87,000 people prevented from voting, a disproportionate number were people of color, young voters, groups typically favoring Democrats. Georgia has closed five percent of polling places since the Supreme Court invalidated the Voter Rights Act, most of those are in black and brown communities. You get the point.
People are concerned that what they saw today is a reflection of what they've seen before, which is disenfranchisement of minorities who tend to vote Democrat. Your take?
At one point in his master-class schooling of the roid-raging CNNer, Sterling dropped a blistering “you're just incorrect” as he dismantled Fredo’s false assertions.
Addressing the closing of voting places and other signs of poor management, Sterling informed Cuomo that all those decisions were made at the country level and those counties were run by Democrats. “They are made at the county level and the state has zero ability to tell them not do that,” he said. “In those counties where people tend to vote Democrats, are run by Democrats, and they're the ones that set the elections boards, they’re the ones who hire the staff.”
Sterling also went on to explain that most of the problems they faced in the Democratic primary were due to the learning curve from the pandemic.
And in the end, Fredo buckled. “All I'm saying is Gabe, look, I’m not looking to ascribe animus, I'm just saying it looks bad,” he cowered. Sterling and his facts won the day.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
CNN’s Cuomo PrimeTime
January 4, 2021
9:07:21 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS CUOMO: David Purdue, one of the GOP senators in the spotlight in Georgia, right, fighting to keep his job. He was asked about this tape. He says, “it's disgusting.” Not what Trump did. The secretary of state recording and releasing it. Leave it to a moneyed stock jockey to hate the exposure of an inside game.
The truth literally sickens these people. And remember this. I'm not telling you something that isn't known, that you don't even know by now. The truth is known. Their own party members confirm it. Takes us to exhibit C.
GABRIEL STERLING: There is no shredding of ballots going on. That's not real. It's not happening. [Transition] No one is changing parts or pieces out of Dominion voting machines. That’s not real – I don’t know what that means. That’s not a real thing. [Transition] Secretary Raffensperger does not have a brother named Ron Raffensperger. That is also not real. The President tweeted that out as well.
CUOMO: That guy is a Republican, by the way.