CNN's Cuomo Says 'America First' 'Smacks of Jingoism', Prefers Obama Spying on Media

During Friday’s edition of Cuomo PrimeTime, host Chris Cuomo engaged in a lengthy exchange with Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski. At one point, Cuomo said that the “America First Agenda” “smacks of a jingoism and an exclusionary view of humanity that most people don’t want repeated.” Later, he downplayed the Obama administration’s spying on journalists James Rosen and Sharyl Attkisson, saying “I’d rather be spied on legitimately than called an enemy of the people illegitimately.”

The debate began with a focus on The New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous author claiming to have a senior role in the Trump administration; which contains a laundry list of criticisms of the President and his style. Lewandowski argued that the criticisms of President Trump mirror criticisms of President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he argued has gone down as one of the greatest Presidents in American history:

LEWANDOWSKI: The individuals who are attacking Donald Trump today like George Will, when they raised those same issues about Teddy Roosevelt, said he was a hero, he was the greatest, one of the greatest American Presidents. They don’t like Donald Trump because he’s brash, because he’s bold, because he fights for an American first agenda. The American people knew it. He’s unapologetic about it.

Cuomo jumped in, arguing that they don’t like America first agenda because it smacks of a jingoism and an exclusionary view of humanity that people don’t want repeated.” He also seemed to agree with the anonymous author of the New York Times op-ed when he said that the good economy comes “despite his manner,” “despite his divisiveness,” “despite the worries about his constant lying and his competence that people in the White House complain about consistently.”

When Lewandowski praised President Trump for cutting regulations, Cuomo responded: “that’s not an unqualified positive. You’re cutting regulations that could hurt kids’ health, that could hurt air, that could hurt water.” Apparently, he just could not resist the opportunity to paint the Republicans as heartless and evil.

Lewandowski attempted to give Cuomo an “unqualified positive that nobody could disagree with” by pointing out President Trump’s deportation of a Nazi living in Queens, New York. Cuomo responded: “You want me to salute him for deporting a Nazi? Great.” Cuomo quickly resumed attacking the Trump administration: “But then when he gets criticized for taking thousands of children away from their parents, you ignore it. You deny it, or you try to misconstrue it as something else. That’s the problem. It’s not removing the Nazi. It’s cottoning to Nazis. It’s telling white supremacists they’re good people. Deport one? Good. Tell all of them they’re kind of okay? Not good.”

 

 

Changing the subject, Lewandowski accused former President Obama of telling a “series of lies” during a speech he gave at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earlier in the day, specifically taking issue with his assertion that he “never attacked Fox News.” Lewandowski brought up the Obama administration’s spying on Fox News Journalist James Rosen as well as CBS News’s Sharyl Attkisson as he attempted to prove that Obama “doesn’t tell the truth” when it comes to his administration’s treatment of journalists.

Cuomo pushed back: “You cannot with a straight face, Corey, say we should care about President Obama lying today when you have made a cottage industry of going on TV to deflect dozens and dozens of lies by this President.” Cuomo continued to lecture Lewandowski: “You can’t with a straight face go at Obama as a liar. You can call him other things that are pejorative. A liar when you represent Donald Trump?”

In Cuomo’s mind, words apparently speak louder than actions. Cuomo did his best to justify the Obama administration’s treatment of Rosen and Attkisson, saying “I’d rather be spied on legitimately than called an enemy of the people illegitimately.” Cuomo dismissed the debate about the Obama administration’s treatment of Rosen and Attkisson as a “silly conversation,” accusing Lewandowski of believing that “if you can pick out something that’s negative about somebody else, you believe it erases what your own administration is doing, what the Trump administration is doing.”

 

 

More than a year after he left office, Cuomo and his allies still carry water for President Obama by using “what-aboutism” to sweep any wrongdoing by his administration under the rug. No matter how much Trump allies like Lewandowski try, the left-wing media remains loathe to say a kind word about the Trump administration or give him credit for anything.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Cuomo PrimeTime is below. Click “expand” to read more.

 

Cuomo Prime Time

09/07/18

09:08 PM
 

COREY LEWANDOWSKI: So, let’s look at the substance. Let’s look at what Donald Trump has been able to accomplish in the first 20 months of this administration; historic low unemployment, stock market through the roof, you know, opportunities that didn’t exist, a stronger military, a stronger national security, putting things in place that no President…look, returning human remains from the Korean peninsula, which nobody could do. All of those things are factors. And, look, Chris, go back and look at what they said about Teddy Roosevelt, who happens to be on Mount Rushmore, who I think by most accounts was a pretty successful President. It’s the exact same language they used about him. He was mercurial. He got angry at the press. They didn’t like the way he acted. Guess what, he got things done and the bottom line is…

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Corey, I’m going to send…I’m going to send you a present called Theodore X and you read what is a very good take on Teddy Roosevelt from a young age to where he got…he is nothing like Donald Trump. He is not analogized to Donald Trump in any way.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, that’s not true.

CUOMO: Him defining…

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, that’s not true.

CUOMO: …a bully pulpit and him being seen as strong, he was never reviewed the way Donald Trump is, and you know that. He was a war hero who came in with a reputation. He was not cited by his own staff.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, I will send you, I will send you the op-eds that were written.

CUOMO: Fine. But I’m saying this…

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, I will send you the op-eds that were written on Teddy Roosevelt that say exactly the same things they say about Donald Trump back then.

CUOMO: No way.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: You show me where they said…go ahead. Finish your point.

LEWANDOWSKI: The individuals who are attacking Donald Trump today like George Will, when they raised those same issues about Teddy Roosevelt, said he was a hero, he was the greatest, one of the greatest American Presidents. They don’t like Donald Trump because he’s brash, because he’s bold, because he fights for an American first agenda. The American people knew it. He’s unapologetic about it.

CUOMO: Well, they don’t like…they don’t like America first agenda because it smacks of a jingoism and an exclusionary view of humanity that people don’t want repeated. But be very clear, what he has done with the economy and regulations and taxes, and, by the way, we’ll see how two of those three pan out because it’s early. That’s despite his manner. That’s despite the divisiveness. That’s despite the worries about his constant lying and his competence that people inside the White House complain about consistently. You won’t find that about Teddy Roosevelt, and I don’t know why people who care about him don’t ask him to address it because if he got that much done, as you say, doing as much damage as he’s done with his mouth, why not think about it and then imagine what he could do?

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, why don’t we give the President the credit he deserves? He’s cut more government regulations than any President in history.

CUOMO: That’s not an unqualified positive.

LEWANDOWSKI: He deported…Chris…

CUOMO: That’s not an unqualified positive.

CUOMO: That’s not an unqualified positive. You’re cutting regulations that could hurt kids’ health, that could hurt air, that could hurt water. So, not all regulations being cut is a good thing.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris…Okay. So here’s an unqualified positive that no one can disagree with. He deported a Nazi who was living in Queens, New York, that the previous administration didn’t do. Are you going to argue that that’s not an unqualified positive? A Nazi.

CUOMO: No, but it’s not…

LEWANDOWSKI: A legitimate…look, no other administration did it, Chris. That’s an unqualified positive. Give him the credit he deserves.

CUOMO: But who says it isn’t? Who says it isn’t? Here’s the problem, Corey.

LEWANDOWSKI: So that’s my point is, give him the success that he deserves…

CUOMO: You want me to salute him deporting a Nazi? Great.

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes.

CUOMO: But then when he gets criticized for taking thousands of children away from their parents, you ignore it. You deny it, or you try to misconstrue it as something else. That’s the problem. Not removing the Nazi. It’s cottoning to Nazis. It’s telling white supremacists they’re good people. That’s the problem. Deport one? Good. Tell all of them they’re kind of okay? Not good.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, you know what I heard today from Barack Obama? I heard a series…look, he’s a great orator, don’t get me wrong, but I heard a series of lies. He said, oh, I never attacked Fox News. Really? Go ask the reporter who he spied on.

CUOMO: He attacked Fox News.

LEWANDOWSKI: Go ask Sharyl Attkisson, he spied on.

CUOMO: He attacked Fox News.

LEWANDOWSKI: Yeah but the…Chris, he’s a good orator, but he doesn’t tell the truth.

CUOMO: You cannot with a straight face, Corey, say we should care about President Obama lying today when you have made a cottage industry of going on TV to deflect dozens and dozens of lies by this President.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, calling out a network for their unfair coverage is one thing. Spying on a reporter is something different.

CUOMO: He calls us an enemy. He calls us an enemy. He lies about our reporting. He lies about our intentions.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, what would the media outcry be today if the Trump Justice Department was spying on Chris Cuomo, took his phone records, stole his e-mails? What would the media outcry…because that’s exactly what Barack Obama’s administration did in 2010. Fact. And he didn’t do it just to Fox. He did it to CBS and no one wants to remind anybody of it.

CUOMO: One, I don’t like people looking at journalists. I don’t like people coming after journalists. I didn’t like it when Obama’s administration did it. I wouldn’t like it today. But you’re forgetting two words that have to matter, and you guys are trying to soften what they mean, but they still matter. Probable cause. What they did was under color of authority. Now, we can argue about whether or not we like that. But what…

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, James Rosen…

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: What you’re doing and what the President does has no probable cause attached to it. It’s just political and personal, and you can’t with a straight face go at Obama as a liar. You can call him other things that are pejorative. A liar when you represent Donald Trump?

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, today, today he said that he didn’t attack Fox News. Chris, you just admitted that he did that. Moreover than that, James Rosen and Sharyl Atkins, two well known national reporters were both spied on by the Obama administration. That is the most egregious…

CUOMO: He says he complained about Fox. He says he complained about Fox. I didn’t deal with them the way this President does. That’s true.

LEWANDOWSKI: But, Chris, how can he justify…

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: And you’re ignoring…I’ll tell you what. I’d rather be spied on legitimately than called an enemy of the people illegitimately.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, can you imagine we have a government that’s spying on American reporters on domestic soil and a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment?

CUOMO: We don’t know that it was a clear violation. We don’t know that it was a clear violation.

LEWANDOWSKI: They had to go and get a FISA warrant, right? And we know, look, let’s bring Sharyl Attkisson on. She’s amazing. She knows…

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: You don’t have to get a FISA warrant for all surveillance. You don’t get a FISA warrant for all surveillance. You know that. You were in law enforcement. You don’t need a FISA warrant to look at people.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, to go after a journalist…to steal someone’s e- mails, to steal their phone records, to a member of the credentialed press, that is a far more egregious thing that took place.

CUOMO: Let’s be very clear…hold on a second. This is a little bit of a silly conversation, and here’s why. I have said it before, I’ll say it again, and everybody would agree. We’re on the same page on this, everybody watching right now. You shouldn’t be looking at journalists for a bad reason, period, end. They did it. You guys do it. In your mind, though, Corey, if you can pick out something that’s negative about somebody else, you believe it erases what your own administration is doing, what the Trump administration is doing.

LEWANDOWSKI: No, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that at all.

 

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