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Cuomo and Gorka Clash Over Travel Ban, Media’s Trump Twitter Obsession and ‘Fake News’

The tweets do not speak for themselves.

That’s the White House talking point Sebastian Gorka was touting in an explosive interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, in an attempt to explain President Donald Trump’s Monday morning tweet storm, in which he defended his controversial and legally-challenged travel ban.

Trump contradicted administration officials who repeatedly held that the immigration executive order was “not a ban,” embracing his first, stricter order and complicating his already thorny legal case.

“Why wasn’t the administration honest about it all along?” Cuomo asked Gorka, adding “the president just proved what the truth is, all of this has been spin, and a distraction, why?”

“I’m not going to fall into the trap of us being the spinmeisters when CNN is one the greatest purveyors of fake news,” Gorka responded, alleging the travel ban has been the same since the beginning.

Cuomo pointed out that White House spokespeople repeatedly claimed the executive order was not a ban, charging “that is spin, you are the purveyor of spin, that was your message.”

The two went back and forth over whether the ban was geared at targeting Muslims, with Gorka telling the CNN host: “what you’ve just spun is classic fake news,” and asking for evidence the ban was intended to target Muslims.

Cuomo pointed to Trump’s own comments on the ban, during his presidency and on the campaign trail, which are being used to undermine the ban in court. “His intention is clear,” Cuomo said.

As things got contentious between the two, Gorka derided CNN as being “in the tank” and Cuomo defended the network’s success: “we’re up 100% year over year Sebastian, what you just said is foolishly wrong. It’s not just abusive of fact, but it’s silly with its own logic.”

“You’re comedy now Chris, it’s just comedy,” Gorka responded.

Cuomo then brought up Trump’s tweet criticizing the mayor of London, in the wake of the terror attacks in the city. “Are you ok with him going after the London mayor in a time of crisis?” Cuomo asked.

Gorka declined to answer, instead claiming it was “really disappointing” that Cuomo was bringing up Trump’s tweets, asking “let’s talk about policy.”

“His tweets are the policy,” Cuomo interjected.

“It’s not policy, it’s social media,” shot back.

“What are you saying, we shouldn’t listen to what the president says?” Cuomo asked.

“We shouldn’t obsess about it for now, 12 minutes Chris,” Gorka responded. “How long do you want to talk about one tweet now Chris, should we spend the whole program on it?

“I think that to call it a tweet, is to run away from its significance,” Cuomo said.

“It is a tweet, what is it, what is it a bowl of petunias?” Gorka quipped. “To judge national security, in a time of things like the Manchester and London attacks, based upon social media statements is irresponsible of you Chris.”

“Irresponsible of me, to report on what the president of the United States says?” Cuomo asked.

The two went back and forth on the significance of Trump’s tweets, with Gorka claiming CNN is “doing a disservice” to America for covering the president’s social media proclamations.

Cuomo then asked if there “has there been official change in policy” with regards to the vetting of immigrants.

“This in not the Obama administration, we don’t give away sensitive information,” Gorka responded. “So please, don’t ask me to tell you what we are doing here on television so the bad guys can game it, that again is irresponsible Chris.”

“Giving information as the president to the Russians, though about intelligence, that’s ok though right?” Cuomo charged.

“You’re obsessed, you’re obsessed,” Gorka said. “Let’s talk about national security, not conspiracy theories.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin