CNN Panel Devolves Into Chaos Over Trump’s Attacks on Falsely Imprisoned Central Park Five


A CNN panel on Cuomo Prime Time dissolved into chaos as Cuomo and his two guests, Van Jones and Steve Cortes, got into a heated argument and constantly interrupted one another over Donald Trump’s attacks on the 1989 Central Park Five rape case in New York City. “I’m not going to let you lie,” Jones declared when Cortes began to question the innocence of the five men who were convicted and then, years later, fully exonerated from the crime.

That infamous case of law enforcement abuse and false imprisonment exploded back into the news on Monday after the president tweeted a condemnation the 1994 crime bill that then-Senator Joe Biden voted for and portrayed himself as a criminal justice reformer.

In response, many critics pointed to the moment in May 1989, less than two weeks after five teenagers were arrested for the rape of a woman in Central Park, that Trump bought a full-page New York Times advertisement calling for the death penalty to be reinstated so it could be applied in their case.

In 2014, the five men, four of whom were black and one Latino, were exonerated of all charges and settled a $41 million civil rights lawsuit for a wrongful imprisonment. Nevertheless, Trump has refused to apologize for his calls for execution and dismissed the settlement as “outrageous.”

Cuomo called out Trump’s lack of apology on his show — and then the conversation blew up.

“I would love to get into the facts of that night… because they are not nearly as exculpatory as you might want to believe,” said Cortes, a CNN commentator who is a former member of Trump’s Hispanic advisory council. But before he could finish, Jones started to strenuously object, talking over him and saying “no” 20 straight times.

“You can’t just say no a thousand times and not let me talk,” Cortes barked.

“I’m not going to let you lie,” Jones shot back amid the crosstalk. “This is disgusting on your part.”

Later, an exasperated Cortes blurted out after another interruption by Jones: “Can I talk?!”

“Nope, not on this,” Jones replied.

After which, both Jones and Cortes began lobbing comments at another non-stop, prompting Cuomo, who had lost all control of his show to interject: “Let’s end it there, let’s end it there.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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