Cuomo Battles Antonio Sabato on Political Civility: How Does it Help When You Call Obama a Muslim?


Chris Cuomo and actor Antonio Sabato Jr. had a major collision tonight on CNN over the deteriorating state of civility in American politics.

The conversation began with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) — whom Sabato called “the hustler of hate” for her encouragement of people harassing Trump Administration staff in public. He also said Waters should be arrested for not being doing more to address crime or get involved in ways to help her district.

Cuomo challenged Sabato on that point — as the actor grumbled that the CNN anchor was trying to change the subject. Cuomo questioned Sabato about how much he and President Donald Trump can truly accomplish if incivility keeps both political sides from cooperating.

And then Cuomo brought up the times when the actor baselessly claimed that former president Barack Obama is Muslim.

“How is that helpful?” Cuomo asked.

Sabato dismissed the question as irrelevant to the present moment, but Cuomo countered that the actor — who’s running for Congress out of California — has to “own it now” if he wants to be elected to the House. When Sabato wrote off the offensive element of his comments, Cuomo noted that “it is [offensive] when it’s a false allegation done to disparage him and to feed hate.”

This prompted Sabato to exclaim that “journalism is dead,” which led him and Cuomo locking horns when the latter asked him what he’s doing trying to change the narrative.

The conversation eventually moved towards the ongoing debate over Trump’s rescinded campaign of separating children from their families at the border. Sabato tried to wiggle around questions about whether he agreed with the impact of Trump’s policy, which caused him to tell Cuomo “you’re trying to be a smart-ass.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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