Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump clashed with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo during an unusual Wednesday morning interview.
During their lengthy exchange, Trump repeatedly trashed a CNN reporter covering his campaign, Sara Murray, as Cuomo defended her.
“I’m getting the biggest crowds by far,” Trump said early in the interview. “Sara Murray didn’t report it very well, because she never flips the camera to show the lines. I think she’s absolutely terrible, your reporter.”
Trump, who frequently attacks big-name media personalities, continued to drop insult after insult against Murray.
“You know she’s a top-notch reporter,” Cuomo told Trump, who insisted otherwise.
They soon moved onto other confrontational topics. Cuomo defended the CNN-moderated Democratic primary debate from Trump’s attacks. He asked Trump to clarify his financial support from his father, who helped jump-start his real-estate empire. And Cuomo asked him why he so aggressively attacks his Republican rivals.
“But all you do is attack those who disagree with you. You can’t do that on the world stage,” Cuomo declared. He later added: “Here’s the point: You cannot effectively think that you’re going to … be president by just attacking the opponents all the time. It has to be what you’re going to do, what is positive, how you will do it.”
Trump said he does, in fact, provide a positive vision of what he would do in the White House. The businessman then pivoted back to complaining about Murray for not broadcasting the size of the crowd at his Tuesday book-signing event at Trump Tower.
“Unfortunately, you have me followed by Sara Murray, and she doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Trump said as he and Cuomo talked over one another. “Nor does she report the energy the room. She stands there like there’s 12 people in the room. I get by far the biggest crowds.”
Cuomo reminded Trump that he praised Murray during his press conference at Trump Tower the day before.
“Mr. Trump, you have to stop insulting people who do their job. Look, she is a good reporter. You know she’s a good reporter. You were nice to her yesterday when you saw her at your book-signing,” Cuomo said.
“I was nice to her before I saw her report the same night. She didn’t even show the lines of people,” Trump replied.
“Oh, so what?” Cuomo asked sarcastically.
“Excuse me, it stretched all the way down to Madison Avenue from the door. Three and four abreast!” Trump said.
“We get that there were big crowds. We cover it all the time,” Cuomo replied. “I don’t think you have a good case that the media is mean to you. I just don’t think you have a good case. You get the most attention.”
Trump then suggested that CNN brass had an ulterior motive to downplay his support.
“The place was packed. And she gives … very inaccurate stories. Now, I don’t know if that’s because she’s incompetent or she doesn’t like me or maybe she’s given instructions from up above. Who knows. I don’t really care,” Trump said.
“Oh, please,” Cuomo said.
The back-and-forth continued for some time. After the interview, Cuomo tweeted his thoughts on the exchange:
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