Rye to GOPer: 'White Men Who Think Like You' Are 'Greatest Terrorist Threat in This Country'

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An explosive debate broke out on Monday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time focusing on Israel’s decision to bar two Democratic members Congress in “the Squad” from entry because of their support for BDS. While the debate included the usual talking points about President Trump targeting “the Squad” because of their skin color and religion, the conversation went off the rails when CNN political commentator Angela Rye, addressing Republican Strategist Patrick Griffin, identified “the greatest terrorist threat in our country” as “white men who think like you.”

Griffin contended that President Trump “should go play the lottery” because “the fact that he has been able to draw these two women, these four women, if you will, and has been able to paint them as the progressive leftist left of the Democratic Party, the guy should play the lottery.”

 

 

At that point, Cuomo interrupted: “Why is it lucky...that they’re Muslim and brown?” After Cuomo said “that’s the only thing that seems obvious to me,” Griffin schooled him: “The far-left leaning things that these folks stand for are not going to work in swing states in this country.”

Cuomo also pushed back on the idea that President Trump is an ally of Jewish Americans:

He didn’t mention the guy who tried to run down a bunch of Jewish people over the weekend. He’s downplayed the threat of white nationalism. He says it’s not a big deal, even though those are the people going after Jewish people in this country most, and doing the most murdering. And he backed off gun control, which is something that would be relevant, if you are being hunted by haters; like Jewish people are.

Somehow, Rye compared “the Squad” to Nelson Mandela and uttered the usual claptrap about the President stoking “xenophobia.” After Rye weighed in, Cuomo went back to accusing President Trump of singling out “the Squad” because of racism: “There are a lot of Democrats who believe the kinds of things that these two do. They just don’t look like them.”

In the past, Rye has talked about how Make America Great Again hats were “just as maddening and frustrating and triggering” for her to look at “as a KKK hood.” Rye appeared equally triggered during her exchange with Griffin, going nuts when Griffin claimed “the Squad” has “hijacked” the Democratic Party: “it’s so interesting that you used the term for the only two Muslim women in Congress.” Rye apparently believed that by using the term “hijacked,” Griffin was comparing the women to terrorists.

 

 

After expressing her outrage that Griffin referred to the members of “the Squad” as these folks, Rye told Griffin, “the greatest terrorist group in this country…are white men, white men who think like you.” Not surprisingly, Griffin strongly objected to Rye’s “silly rhetoric,” while Cuomo used FBI statistics on white supremacist attacks to back up Rye. The rest of the conversation remained quite heated, with both sides and Cuomo reiterating their talking points over and over again.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CNN's Cuomo Prime Time

08/19/19

09:21 PM

CHRIS CUOMO: It’s not unusual to hear an American politician say that they are pro-Israel or stand with Israel. It’s certainly not unusual to hear this President say it. But in this case, with these two Democratic Congresswomen, we have to look at it a little bit more deeply, and we have to listen to what the two Democratic women said in their answer today. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): It is unfortunate that Prime Minister Netanyahu has apparently taken a page out of Trump’s book, and even dis…direction from Trump to deny this opportunity.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): The Muslim community and the Jewish community are being othered and made into the boogeyman by this administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, the President says this is about being pro, pro-Israel, pro-Jewish. These two say “No. It’s all about anti, anti-Muslim, anti-brown people, and anti-women.” Let’s use this as the start of tonight’s Great Debate with Angela Rye and Patrick Griffin. It’s good to have you both on the show. Patrick, what do you think of that premise; that this is about the President using two people who he loves to make the face of the Democratic Party because it helps divide us and them, and that’s what’s motivating him going after them about Israel?

PATRICK GRIFFIN: Chris, I…I…I…I will tell you that Donald Trump should go play the lottery. The fact that he has drawn these two women, these four women, the Squad, if you will, and has been able to paint them as the progressive-leftist left of the Democratic Party, the guy should play the lottery.

CUOMO: Why?

GRIFFIN: I mean, you can’t get luckier than this.

CUOMO: Why is it lucky?

GRIFFIN: Because…

CUOMO: That they’re Muslim and brown?

GRIFFIN: …this election…because…no, Chris, not…now, come on, not at all. This has to do with the fact…

CUOMO: Come on! I mean that’s the only thing that seems obvious to me.

GRIFFIN: …that the far-left leaning things…

CUOMO: What’s obvious?

GRIFFIN: …that…

CUOMO: Go ahead.

GRIFFIN: …these folks stand for are not going to work in swing states in this country. It’s precisely why Donald Trump will cruise again to maybe a very narrow election victory. But he’s going to win. This stuff doesn’t sell with most people outside of Manhattan, Los Angeles, and parts…

CUOMO: All right…

GRIFFIN …of New York.

CUOMO: …so Patrick, let’s just take a look…

GRIFFIN: It just doesn’t.

CUOMO: …at this stuff, and I’ll bounce it to Angela. But just as a point of order here, in terms of wanting to posture himself as a way that shows an affinity to, or an allegiance with, and a protection of Jewish people or Jewish-Americans, let’s just put up on the screen what he hasn’t talked about while he’s been talking about Tlaib and Omar. He didn’t mention the guy who tried to run down a bunch of Jewish people and hurt people over the weekend. He’s downplayed the threat of white nationalism. He says it’s not a big deal even though those are the people going after Jewish people in this country most, and doing the most murdering. And he backed off gun control, which is something that would be relevant, if you are being hunted by haters; like Jewish people are, and others in this country. But Angela, Patrick says the President’s lucky because of these two, but it’s because of what they are selling as policy, not how they appear. Your response?

ANGELA RYE: Yeah. I think it’s an…a really unfortunate time in this country when people who just are seeking greater access to healthcare are demonized, when people who are seeking solutions to the types of climate change that have poisoned small children are deemed as radical and dangerous, a day and age where racism is…is taken, you know, head-on, and they’re dealing with the types of issues that have divided this country for far too long, frankly, since its foundation. It is unfortunate that now this is about winning elections more than this is about changing the consciousness of people to ensure that we begin to do the right thing. So, I will take the Squad any day over Donald Trump; where they challenge us to be our best selves, where they say occupation no more of Israel and Palestine, taking the same tone, Chris, that Nelson Mandela did before his death. So, I’m hard-pressed to understand why this is about winning when the win is not a long-term solution at all. It is about appealing to the worst among us, the worst fears among us, for white folks who are afraid of becoming the minority in this country, appealing to the fears and the prejudices and the bigotry and the xenophobia and the racism of… in…in people’s hearts.

CUOMO: All right.

RYE: That is problematic. So, this is…this is about winning an election at all costs, and…and consciousness and…

CUOMO: Right.

RYE: …let the right thing be damned, okay, but I think we have a lot more to lose.

CUOMO: Well, but, look, I mean…

RYE: And we’re seeing it every single day.

CUOMO: …it’s not unusual in politics for people to play to advantage because they think they’re going to win. But Patrick, the idea of whom he’s picking…

RYE: But at what cost?

CUOMO: …whom he’s picking. There are a lot of Democrats who believe the kinds of things that these two do. They just don’t look like them.

GRIFFIN: Chris, we’re back to this identity politics. This is the worst kind of thing.

CUOMO: Yeah. That you don’t think that this is a play for him?

GRIFFIN: Trump didn’t pick them. They picked themselves.

RYE: Trump is doing identity politics.

GRIFFIN: They picked themselves, Chris. The fact of the matter is these members of Congress have decided to stand up and speak out for the Democratic Caucus. Nancy Pelosi can’t even control these folks. This has nothing to do with the color of their skin.

RYE: These folks.

GRIFFIN: This has everything to do with the fact that they are supporting terrorist organizations in Israel. But nobody even knew what the BDS was before we started hearing…

RYE: Oh my God.

GRIFFIN: …about all this stuff. We need to be very, very careful here. This is unfortunately about politics.

RYE: Let’s talk about terrorism.

GRIFFIN: Politics is about elections. This isn’t about terrorism.

RYE: Let’s talk about terrorism.

GRIFFIN: This is about the fact…

RYE: Let’s talk about terrorism.

GRIFFIN: …that these four women…

RYE: You know who the greatest terrorists are in this country?

GRIFFIN: …particularly these two, have taken over the Democratic Party, hijacked it from their own Speaker.

CUOMO: You think they’ve taken…

RYE: That is…

CUOMO: …it over, Angela?

RYE: … so interesting. It’s so interesting that you use the term for the two…the only two Muslim women in Congress, the term you chose to use, sir…

GRIFFIN: Got nothing to do with whether they’re Muslim…

RYE: …is hijacking.

GRIFFIN: … or not, Angela.

RYE: Oh, really?

GRIFFIN: Nothing to do…

RYE: You chose to use…

GRIFFIN: …with that.

RYE: …to use…

GRIFFIN: Absolutely not.

RYE: …the term hijacking. I beg to differ and I…

GRIFFIN: That’s right. I did.

RYE: …absolutely condemn…

GRIFFIN: …because they hijacked the party…

RYE: …your remarks.

GRIFFIN: …from their own…

RYE: Yeah, okay.

GRIFFIN: …principles.

RYE: That’s a real interesting…

GRIFFIN: From their own principles…

RYE: …word choice and you understand why.

GRIFFIN: …they’ve hijacked the Democratic Party and that’s…

RYE: You can talk over me all you want to.

GRIFFIN: …one of the reasons why…

RYE: But the bottom line is…

GRIFFIN: …Donald Trump should play the lottery.

RYE: … the greatest terrorist group…

GRIFFIN: He’s a lucky guy.

RYE: … in this country are white men, white men who think like you.

GRIFFIN: Yes.

RYE: That is the greatest terrorist threat…

GRIFFIN: You’re right.

RYE: …in this country.

GRIFFIN: You’re absolutely right. It’s all because of guys like me. That’s silly rhetoric. It doesn’t get us to where…

RYE: No, it’s not. You know what’s silly?

GRIFFIN: …I think this show started…

RYE: The fact that you’re on here…

GRIFFIN: …which was…

RYE: …knowing how dangerous times are right now, defending this nonsense, calling people “these folks…”

GRIFFIN: What…what’s silly…

RYE: …talking about how…

CUOMO: All right but hold on, hold on…

RYE: …they hijacked the party.

CUOMO: Hold on one second.

RYE: Come on!

CUOMO: Let’s reset.

GRIFFIN: What’s silly, Angela…

CUOMO: Let’s reset the table.

RYE: That’s dangerous.

CUOMO: Reset the table.

RYE: It’s dangerous.

CUOMO: Hold on.

GRIFFIN: What’s silly…

CUOMO: Angela.

GRIFFIN: …is that…

CUOMO: …When you…hold on…

GRIFFIN: …you don’t accept…

CUOMO: Just to be clear.

GRIFFIN: …the fact…

CUOMO: Patrick, give me a second.

GRIFFIN: …that someone else can have an opinion.

RYE: It’s not silly.

CUOMO: Patrick?

RYE: There’s nothing…

CUOMO: Hey.

RYE: …silly about this… conversation.

CUOMO: Hello?

RYE: …conversation.

CUOMO: Whose show is it?

RYE: Sorry, Chris.

CUOMO: Calm down, so we can have a rational conversation. You are not saying, Angela…

RYE: I’m very calm.

CUOMO: …that he is a terrorist. You are saying that the threat in this country is what exactly?

RYE: It’s racist rhetoric. And that type of rhetoric fueling the type of hatred that is resulting in white supremacist threats, the increase in hate crimes all over this country…

CUOMO: Well but hold on. Okay. I take your point.

RYE: …and hate incidents and it is happening…

CUOMO: Patrick, why are you shaking your…

RYE: Okay.

CUOMO: …head on this? This is a matter of fact.

GRIFFIN: Because, Chris, this is…

CUOMO: When you look at the ADL…

GRIFFIN: Chris, it’s not a matter of fact.

RYE: They don’t know the facts.

CUOMO: …white nationalists, white supremacists…

GRIFFIN: I’m sorry, my friend, it’s not.

CUOMO: …are three-quarters…hold on, Patrick, let me finish. You can’t…you can’t, listen…

GRIFFIN: Go ahead.

CUOMO: …don’t make a mistake I make every once in a while.

RYE: He can’t handle the truth.

CUOMO: Don’t come at me before I finish the point. It mitigates the strength of the rebuttal.

GRIFFIN: Okay, go ahead.

CUOMO: So, the idea is this. Why would you shake your head about what you know as a matter of fact? We are dealing with terrorism in this country that is done at the hand of white nationalists, supremacists, and extremists. We know that. They’re responsible for three-quarters of it. Your own FBI Director that the President picked said the same thing, that’s the big threat.
Why would you shake your head “no?” You accept all that as fact. Do you not?

GRIFFIN: Because…because…because the fact of the matter is we’re talking about politics here. We’re talking about the fact that…you set this up, Chris, that the President has sort of used these particular opponents to define how he sees this election…

CUOMO: Yes.

GRIFFIN: …this political election. And what I’m telling you is when we get into this kind of rhetoric that it’s all the fault of white males, and it’s all about hatred…

CUOMO: It’s not all the fault of…

GRIFFIN: …and so on and so forth.

CUOMO: …white males.

RYE: Nobody said that.

CUOMO: I’m saying he picked…

GRIFFIN: Chris…Chris…

CUOMO: …these women, Patrick.

GRIFFIN: …I’m not quoting you.

CUOMO: … He picked these, Pat…

GRIFFIN: Chris, I’m not quoting you.

CUOMO: Patrick, he picked these women.

GRIFFIN: Chris, he didn’t pick these women.

CUOMO: He refuses to call out white nationalism unless he says…

GRIFFIN: Chris? Chris?

CUOMO: …“but don’t forget about the left.” He says Antifa must be on a list of terroristic…

GRIFFIN: Chris.

CUOMO: …organizations. He does not say that about neo-Nazis. Why?

GRIFFIN: Chris, these women have picked themselves.

RYE: No, he says…he says mental illness, instead.

GRIFFIN: They chose to hold a press conference today in Washington. They decide to drive the Democrat agenda. And it gives President Trump the material, fortunately or unfortunately, he needs…

CUOMO: And you think it has nothing to do with the fact that…

GRIFFIN: …to get weeks and weeks of conversation about this.

CUOMO: …she has a hijab on her head, and that she’s Muslim and brown.

RYE: Right.

GRIFFIN: It has…I don’t believe so. I do not believe that. But you may.

RYE: Well let’s…let’s

GRIFFIN: I will just tell you…

RYE: Let’s…let’s…

GRIFFIN: …I don’t need to believe that because I don’t think that’s it. She says outrageous things…

RYE: But you know why?

GRIFFIN: …no matter what color her skin is.

RYE: It doesn’t serve you to believe it.

CUOMO: All right.

GRIFFIN: Or what her religion…

CUOMO: Last word to you, Angela.

GRIFFIN: …religious background is.

CUOMO: All right, Patrick, I take your point. Last word to you, Angela.

RYE: Patrick, and you know the challenge here is it doesn’t serve you to believe it because it doesn’t feel right, right? It makes you a little uncomfortable. And so, the challenge that we have here is…

GRIFFIN: Doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all, Angela.

RYE: …you have the opportunity…

GRIFFIN: Not a bit.

RYE: Yeah, just like “hijacking” and “these folks.”

GRIFFIN: Not a bit.

RYE: But I think the reality of it is very simple.

GRIFFIN: Come on.

RYE: You have the opportunity right now to do the right thing instead of just choosing what’s politically expedient to you. And I challenge you and your colleagues and everybody else who may be afraid, watching this program, we’re not your enemies. These folks are Amer…as American as you.

GRIFFIN: Who? Who…make…

RYE: They look a little different.

GRIFFIN: What makes you think that I view you as my enemy, Angela?

RYE: I’m talking about the same type of rhetoric that Donald Trump used against…

CUOMO: All right.

RYE: …President Obama when he was not from this country, right?

GRIFFIN: But…but this is one of the reasons…

RYE: This is the same toxic dangerous…dangerous rhetoric.

GRIFFIN: …that this has escalated into this kind of a…

RYE: But I’m telling you it’s not right.

CUOMO: Well…

GRIFFIN: …political situation.

RYE: It’s not right.

CUOMO: All right, Angela, I take the point.

RYE: It’s not right.

CUOMO: Patrick, I take the point.

GRIFFIN: We get nowhere like this.

RYE: It’s dangerous.

CUOMO: Just one point of order. When you say this is why it’s escalated, yeah, with this President, he needs to undo the reputation for using race against a sitting President when he knew it was BS. And by doing more of it, it doesn’t help him outlive his own reputation. But I appreciate the arguments on both sides. Patrick, thank you, as always, Angela as well, thank you.

Foreign Policy Israel/Palestine Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues CNN Cuomo PrimeTime Angela Rye Chris Cuomo Donald Trump Rashida Tlaib Ilhan Omar
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