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Cuomo Pummels GOP Rep. Collins After He Blames Media For Making Trump Look Bad on World Stage

Following Donald Trump‘s bizarre televised backtracking on Russian meddling Tuesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo sought out a Republican willing to defend the president.

Rep. Chris Collins, of New York, volunteered himself as sacrifice, and faced the wrath of Cuomo’s aggressive questioning.

The CNN anchor kicked off the interview by referring to Trump’s defense of Russia and dismissal of his own intelligence community as a “betrayal of our country,” before grilling Collins on the president’s subsequent reversal.

The two battled it out over Trump’s confounding statements, with Cuomo playing tapes of the president’s contradictory remarks.

Towards the end of the interview, Cuomo took issue with Collins declaring Trump agrees with the US intelligence community on Russian meddling.

“If he absolutely agrees with the intelligence community then why did he have to correct it today, and why were we the embarrassment of the international stage?” Cuomo asked.

“We all misspeak on occasion,” Collins said, before taking aim at the media: “When you look at our standing in the country today, a lot of it has to do with the news media, when I watch folks use terms like ‘treason’, oh my god Chris.”

“That was Brennan who said it, the former CIA director, it wasn’t the media,” Cuomo snapped at Collins.

“Well but it’s being reported now and pushed like this guy’s got some level of credibility,” Collins replied.

“He’s the former head of the CIA,” Cuomo said. “The president of the United States stood on the world stage next to Vladimir Putin, who before Trump, you guys all hated.”

“I grew up with a generation of Republican leadership who saw Russia as the absolute inimical force to freedom around the world,” Cuomo continued. “And now he stands next to him. He shakes his hand. He says he’s a good man. He agrees with him against his own government. And you say it’s the media? Thank god for the media testing power, Chris, or maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation today of trying to get the president to clarify where he is.”

The real gotcha moment came in the final moments of the interview, when Collins contended that Trump “doesn’t mince words” and “you’ll never meet a sharper, smarter individual,” to which Cuomo replied:

“But he misspoke on the most important statement that he had to make yesterday in front of the entire world.”

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