CNN anchor Chris Cuomo confronted one of Donald Trump’s top advisers over why the president-elect refuses to acknowledge Russia’s reported role in hacking Democratic organisations ahead of the election.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Thursday cast senior Russian officials as responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, a conclusion his office first publicly expressed in October. Leaked emails from Democratic officials were posted to the website WikiLeaks in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
“Did Clapper come out in early October and say we know it was Russia?” Cuomo asked Conway.
Conway dodged the question and then asked, “And what did President Obama say in response?”
“Did he say it? That’s the question,” Cuomo said.
With the two talking over each other, Cuomo continued to insist she answer his question about whether Clapper said in early October that the intelligence community knew Russia was responsible for the hacks.
Conway responded: “But what is it, finish the sentence, what is it that we know? That Russia is trying to interfere with the election results? Do you really think that Russia wanted Donald Trump elected president when he’s going to be tougher than Hillary Clinton?”
Cuomo, seemingly growing increasingly frustrated, repeated his question.
“Third time: Did Clapper come out in early October and say we know Russia is behind the hacks, period, full stop?” Cuomo said.
“Behind the hacks of the DNC? Is that what you mean?” Conway said.
“Let’s complete the whole sentence so our viewers are not confused,” Conway said, to which Cuomo responded, “Can you answer now?”
Conway tried to change the subject, but Cuomo pressed on.
“Why won’t the president-elect acknowledge what is so clear to the intelligence community that Russia was involved in the hacks?” he asked.
She said she believes there are people out there who are trying to “delegitimize his presidency.” She also accused Cuomo of just wanting to argue with her.
Cuomo then said he was “just trying to put the facts out there” because Conway was “ducking the obvious.”
“I’m not ducking the obvious,” she said. “Hey, Chris, by the way, I’m not ducking a thing. Not my style.”
Watch the full exchange below:
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