Usually, the nightly banter between CNN talk-show hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo is lightweight chummy at best.
But Lemon felt some sort of way Thursday night.
He lit into his colleague after Cuomo’s bizarre 40-minute interview/fight with Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s key advisors, about Trump lying about directing his former lawyer Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal before the 2016 presidential election.
Lemon, host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, simply said he learned nothing new and called the spectacle a “defective, dismissive and histrionic display of non-answers.”
“Ohhhh my God, Chris,” said Lemon, giving Cuomo the side-eye while shaking his head. “You know, let’s talk about this. Why?”
Cuomo said he believes in exposing the White House’s lies on “what they want the American people to believe,” saying Conway has a reputation for running interviewers over. However, this time Cuomo said, he believes Conway and other Trump supporters “can’t explain away the lies” of the president.
“I lay it out, example after example of what it is, and I keep her on task about it the best I can,” said Cuomo, explaining his strategy. “And to the extent that she varies, to the extent that she redirects, it’s all evidence of what they [the Trump administration] want to avoid.”
Cuomo also added, “That’s why they sent her out to come after me. And I want the American people to see what the president considers his best defense. And they saw it.”
But Lemon wasn’t having any of it. He told Cuomo that Conway and other Trump apologists try to do their best to avoid the real issues at hand.
“At a time when the American people need to be reassured that we are in good hands, when all of the evidence shows that the president is lying to the American people, what Kellyanne Conway does and what the apologists do, they, how do I say this nicely? I don’t want to be rude,” Lemon said before teeing off on Cuomo.
“They take up your time, our time, on national television, when we could be learning something that’s important to us,” Lemon added.
Cuomo, the host of Cuomo Prime Time, said he understands what what Lemon and viewers might be thinking.
“I think they saw that (Conway) has a hard time justifying what the president has said,” Cuomo further explained. “That she tries to use cleverness in place of – having real arguments and real facts, they’re not on her side.”
And, after some more debating, Lemon concluded, and he told Cuomo, “you have more patience than I do.”
Apparently, he’s not alone as others on Twitter agreed, including former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, who tweeted that the Conway interview was an “utter waste of time.”
Utter waste of time. “They sent her to come after me” is the telling quote. For CNN it’s not about educating the public, or making sure facts and truth are elevated. It’s about wrestling in the mud, to give a sense of urgency and drama. It’s really, really sad. https://t.co/D2GTmuN5VX
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) December 14, 2018