During a conversation on the Trump administration’s impact on the judicial branch Tuesday night, two CNN prime time hosts expressed disappointment about the administration’s progress in transforming the judiciary and slammed Christian conservatives for supporting President Trump in spite of his personal moral failings. At one point, he spewed, "They surrendered character for the courts. That’s what they did."
The conversation on the judicial branch began during the final minute of Tuesday’s Cuomo Prime Time, where host Chris Cuomo pointed out that “the White House last week cheered as the number of confirmed judges on its watch crossed the 150 mark.” After complaining about the high number of “older white men” nominated by President Trump, Cuomo had to correct himself: “not older men, they’re younger men, which means they’re going to be there for a long time.”
While Cuomo appeared at least slightly put off by the demographics of the “faces of Trump’s bench,” he seemed more disturbed about the fact that “all are staunch conservatives and some woefully lack the acumen we would expect.”
Cuomo definitely had a point in saying that the impact of President Trump’s judicial appointments will “last a generation” but his liberal bias shone through in the language he chose to use. As he pointed out that “a lot of law is made in the lower courts,” Cuomo used the term “reproductive rights” when describing the “issues that you care about” and warned his audience that “these judges are going all across the country, so be on the lookout.”
The conversation continued as Cuomo tossed it over to CNN Tonight host Don Lemon. While Lemon complained that President Trump is “stacking the court,” Cuomo attempted to portray Christian conservatives, including Vice President Mike Pence, as hypocrites: “you and I have grown up with them saying it’s not just about policy and politics; it’s about the personal. Character counts. Remember, Mike Pence wrote this famous letter now about Bill Clinton; it’s about morality and leadership. Now, he stands next to President Trump.”
According to Cuomo, Christian conservatives have “surrendered character for the courts.” Cuomo’s commentary mirrors a statement made by frequent MSNBC guest Pete Wehner, who claimed that Christians were “selling their souls for judges.”
Lemon expressed bewilderment at the “support he has among Christians and Evangelical Christians” before scoffing at the idea that President Trump would describe himself as a “staunch Christian” during an interview with Cuomo back in 2016. Acting as a mind reader, Lemon declared “we all know that not to be true.” Cuomo, who aired a clip of that interview during his show Tuesday night, agreed: “I thought he was kidding.”
At this point, Cuomo picked up where he left off in the previous hour when it came to mocking former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s performance on Dancing With the Stars. Lemon all too happily joined in, comparing Spicer to Ricky Ricardo and Liberace. The exchange between Cuomo and Lemon made it perfectly clear that the media never miss an opportunity to put their contempt for conservatives and conservatism on display for all to see.
A transcript of the conversation is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Cuomo Prime Time
CHRIS CUOMO: BOLO time! Be on the Look-Out. The White House last week cheered as the number of confirmed judges on its watch crossed the 150 mark. President Obama couldn’t clear 100 in the same amount of time. And both Presidents, of course, can thank Senator Mitch McConnell, slowing Obama nominees way down; especially in the final two years of his Presidency. President George W. Bush, by contrast, got more than three times the number through, in the same amount of time; despite Democrats controlling the Senate then. And then, there are the demographics, the faces of Trump’s bench versus Obama’s. So far, the Trump Administration is putting barely half the percentage of women up for the nomination. This is all about older white men. They make up nearly four out of five of the picks these days. All are staunch conservatives, and some woefully lack the acumen we would expect. Not older men. They’re younger men, which means they’re going to be there for a long time. So, their impact can last a generation. That’s the point. A lot of law is made in the lower courts. So, a lot of these issues that you care about; whether it’s reproductive rights, whether it’s due process. The idea that it all gets decided at the Supreme Court is not always the case. And these judges are going all across the country, so be on the lookout. Thanks for watching. CNN Tonight with D. Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON: You’ve been listening in on my editorial meetings and…and when I say to my producers, oh my gosh, the judges, his stacking the court. This…and then, this is why people…this is why people who come on, some of the…the Trump supporters, and they say this is why they…I can’t stand anything else he does, but it’s the policies. He’s getting the judges through, and he’s getting a lot of them through, and people aren’t even noticing. He had a milestone, as you said, 150 appointments.
LEMON: That’s incredible.
CUOMO: That’s the point of the segment. That’s why we call it…
CUOMO: …be on the lookout. And I’ll tell you what the most interesting aspect …
CUOMO: …of this surrender is.
LEMON: Thanks for explaining that to me.
CUOMO: I know you weren’t paying attention. I’m just bringing you up to speed. Christian conservatives, okay? You and I have grown up with them saying, it’s not just about policy and politics. It’s about the personal. Character counts. Remember Mike Pence wrote this famous letter now about Bill Clinton; it’s about morality and leadership. We must treat him as a neighbor. It’s not just about the law. Now he stands next to President Trump. They surrendered character for the courts. That’s what they did.
LEMON: Yeah. Well, and for a whole lot of other things when you think about it. When you think about the support that this President has among Evangelic…Evangelicals. We’re going to talk about that, the…his support in general. We’re going to talk about race, how it’s become the main factor in this upcoming presidential race. But it’s…it’s surprising…the thing that surprises me the most…it doesn’t surprise me the folks who are secular, right, as we call secular in their support, because the people he…he appoints as judges, it shows you the kind of people that they want appointed, the kind of people they want in leadership roles. But actually, the support that he has among Christians and Evangelical Christians is always very surprising to me. And in that interview, I saw your eyes when he says, because I am a staunch Christian. I thought your eyes were going to pop out of your head because we all know that not to be true.
CUOMO: I thought he was kidding.
LEMON: I did too.
CUOMO: Like I thought he was going to start laughing, and he…he didn’t.
LEMON: He’s audited because he’s a…
CUOMO: And you saw Spicer…
LEMON: …a staunch Christian.
CUOMO: …play the same card. And he knows it, he knows it matters to people on the right. It matters to a lot of people on the left. I mean, this country is highly faith-based in its orientation. But to hear them say it with a straight face, I mean, it was just as impressive as that lime limbo outfit.
LEMON: What…what in the Ricky Ricardo, Liberace was going on with that?
LEMON: That is the…that is the loudest outfit I’ve ever seen a flamingo dancer wear, most flamboyant.
CUOMO: He went for it. He went for it.
LEMON: He did. You got to give him…
LEMON: …You got to give him credit for that.
CUOMO: I’ll give him…I’ll give him nothing actually, but he did go for it. He should have just kept his partner in front of him the entire time. He should have just had his arms out there.
LEMON: I was watching you in the makeup room, and I saw him. And I said, I got my Halloween costume. That’s going to be the number one…
CUOMO: I’m not going as her, though, Don. Don’t even try.
LEMON: Come on, Chris. You can do it.
CUOMO: No, I gave all my leotards away.
LEMON: You’ve got the legs. I’m sure you can borrow one of your daughter’s leotards. It will be, it will be…make sure it’s chartreuse, or would you just call it fluorescent green? I have no idea.
CUOMO: That was…that was something. It was brain-staining. I’ll give you that much.
LEMON: I’ll see you.
CUOMO: Have a great show.
LEMON: Ricky, thank you. See you soon.