Hey CNN, Who's Interviewing Who?

August 24th, 2018 3:15 PM

Typically when a news host invites a guest on for an interview they ask a series of questions and allow the guest to elaborate. That wasn’t the case on Thursday when CNN host Chris Cuomo had on President Trump’s Counselor, Kellyanne Conway. Cuomo took up 51 percent of the interview for himself.



After taking the official CNN transcript for the August 23 episode of Cuomo PrimeTime, and splitting it into the two individual’s respective speaking time, NewsBusters discovered that Cuomo used 182 more words in his interview than Conway. It is unusual that such a discrepancy exists when Cuomo’s job is to get information from Conway. Instead, he seemed to be giving more information than her. In numbers, Cuomo used 4005 words during the interview, while Conway only used 3823.

It should also be noted that Conway did try to answer Cuomo’s questions. However, as soon as she would attempt to reply to Cuomo’s incessant pestering he would throw a different question. Conway even noted during the interview: “You've got about 10 times the words I do so far, and I'm the guest.”

If CNN is going to allow it’s hosts to take up more time in their shows than the guests they bring on, it might be time to reconsider the entire format. Why bother to have anyone on for an interview if you won't let them talk?

Read the full transcript from the August 23 interview below:

Cuomo PrimeTime
9:00 PM EST
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: So, let's get the White House reaction to this and a lot more -- counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway. 

Good to have you back on PRIME TIME. 


CUOMO: Thanks. You literally were just whisked in here as the show started. Timing is everything.

CONWAY: The president sends his greetings.

CUOMO: Send him my best. I hope he's watching.

CONWAY: Said he always liked your mother, and she liked him.

CUOMO: Well, I got that going for him.

CONWAY: Don't embarrass her tonight.


CUOMO: I'll try, I'll try. She likes you too. So, you follow the same advice.

Let me ask you this, let's start off with the onset, I interviewed the president's former lawyer last night, Jay Goldberg, and he says, I don't see criminal conduct from the president when it comes to collusion with Russia. I don't see criminal conduct from the president when it comes to campaign violations. I said, well, what about the lying? He says, oh, he is lying about what he did with the women and the public will have to account for that, that they can't trust him to tell the truth. But it's not a crime.

Do you agree with that assessment?

CONWAY: I think you should -- 

CUOMO: That there's no criminal exposure, perhaps in your opinion but that he lied about this? 

CONWAY: The president has said that he has not lied and the president has said that no charges were filed against him in either the Manafort or the Cohen matters, as you know. And that's important here. 

The other thing that's really important to note especially for the CNN viewers, Christopher, is that despite a year and a half of searching high and low, where exactly is this fictitious Russian collusion, which "The New York Times" said in July 11, 2017, doesn't even have legal significance? Collusion means two people are getting together and maybe do something illicit. It's not conspiracy, which is getting together to commit a crime. Where is that? 

You spent so much, sweat, economy, invested so many screaming graphics and time and expert to talk to experts talking about everything from impeachment, to collusion. 

CUOMO: It doesn't matter. That's why.

CONWAY: No, where is it? And why -- 

CUOMO: You got to ask Mueller. He's not done with his investigation.

CONWAY: No, let's be fair. You weren't waiting for Mueller. CNN is not, respectfully, you're not waiting for Mueller to finish his investigation -- 


CONWAY: -- because you've been talking about collusion and promising it to your viewers -- 

CUOMO: Never.

CONWAY: -- for a year and a half. Now, we can talk about the dossier -- 

CUOMO: Literally not once. In fact, I say that's not a part of my viewers almost all the time.

CONWAY: Why aren't you leading in (ph) to the dossier? Some of your colleagues won awards -- 

CUOMO: We talk about the dossier all the time. 

CONWAY: All right. Let's talk about it tonight because last night, Michael Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis made very clear to your colleague and many other appearances yesterday that there are at least 13, 14, 15 falsehoods about Michael Cohen in the dossier, including the fact they say he's never been to Prague in his life. 

CUOMO: Right. You're defending Michael Cohen? 

CONWAY: No, what I'm telling you is -- no, no, what I'm telling you is you can't have it both ways. You can't say for a year and a half this is about Russian collusion, that we -- a campaign that I managed to its victory, I was there for the successful part of the campaign that this man who ran and won fairly and squarely as you full well know, you can't promise everybody that this is going to be no implication of that. 

CUOMO: I disagree with your assessment. 

CONWAY: That he didn't win fairly and squarely. Tell me. Tell me.

CUOMO: Because it's patently untrue. 

CONWAY: That he didn't win fairly and squarely. CUOMO: That we don't promise the audience an outcome. We tell them

that you have to respect the process.

CONWAY: Do you think he won fairly and squarely? Do you think the democratic process work here? Do you think he is a democratically elected president?

CUOMO: I think he won the Electoral College. That means he's president of the United States. 

CONWAY: Thank you very much. He's your president, too. 

CUOMO: I never said he wasn't my president.

CONWAY: And it's time to start showing the respect to this president. 

CUOMO: Listen -- 

CONWAY: We can't even get our agenda covered on CNN because -- 

CUOMO: That's not true. We cover it all the time. 

CONWAY: Let's do it today.

CUOMO: But listen, hold on a second -- the truth matters. That's what we sell to our audience because that's the only reason we have a job. The truth is, he lied about this. You guys should own it.

CONWAY: Lied about what?

CUOMO: And move forward.

CONWAY: I'm sorry. Lied about what? 


CUOMO: That he knew about what Michael Cohen was doing with these women and the payments. He lied about not knowing. 

CONWAY: He knew about it after -- 

CUOMO: I know that's a lie. 

CONWAY: That payments were made.

CUOMO: That's a lie.

CONWAY: Says who, you?


CUOMO: Yes, says me, says the facts. 

CONWAY: Why? Why? What facts?

CUOMO: Because I heard the tape in his voice, it's Donald Trump, and he is listening to his lawyer tell him what he needs to do to finish his deal with his friend Pecker. Everybody's heard it. If you want to, I'll play it again. What does that tell us?

CONWAY: No, CNN plays it on a going loop. 

CUOMO: Well, good, then you've heard this. So, really I'm just refreshing your recollection. So, then so you know it already. You know it already and what it shows is he was aware of what he was doing before he did it. 


CUOMO: That's the truth. He's lying. 

CONWAY: I mean, when he was asked on Air Force One, did you know about that -- that was the question about Stormy Daniels payment and he said no. 

CUOMO: And he did.

CONWAY: And meaning not at the time. That was in April. The whole world knew about it by January. 

CUOMO: No, he knew about it also.

CONWAY: No, he's saying he didn't know about it at the time. And he said yesterday -- 

CUOMO: I know. And that's true.

CONWAY: -- that's aired this morning, he said he knew about it after the facts. 

CUOMO: I know. But that's not true. 

CONWAY: I don't want your viewers to -- and I know your viewers expect to be fed anti-Trump virulence every single night. And they come away quite satisfied. And let's be fair here, that's true. You should just own it. Just say -- 


CUOMO: You want me to own that? You won't own what is so obvious and I don't get -- 

CONWAY: Here's what's obvious -- 

CUOMO: You could say, look, did he lie? Yes, he lied. He's not perfect, but it's not illegal. You could say that. His own lawyer admits he lied. 


CONWAY: No, no, that's -- is he his current lawyer -- Jay Goldberg? Where is the last time he was -- 


CONWAY: No, no, answer for me. When was the last time he was his lawyer?

CUOMO: Well, I would argue when he called to ask how to handle Michael Cohen just months ago. 

CONWAY: No, no, when -- you know who his lawyers are now, right, Rudy Giuliani, and Jay Sekulow? 


CONWAY: Would you agree (ph) to have that conversation with them?

CUOMO: Oh, I don't think that just because you're not retained currently doesn't mean you're not a good gauge of the character of the client. 

CONWAY: Let me tell you something.


CONWAY: OK, the president spoke on this just this morning for the world to see. 


CONWAY: He said, she asked him, did you know about the payments? He said, I knew them after they were made. 


CONWAY: But let's focus on the two big stories of the week according to CNN and MSNBC -- Manafort, and Cohen, let's focus on those. Where in the Manafort trial is Russia collusion with Trump? 

CUOMO: I don't care. 

CONWAY: You should care.


CUOMO: The president lied about what he knew about these women. He should not lie to the American people in their face time and again. "The Washington Post" does a blow by blow take (INAUDIBLE) it's the first lie they ever flagged -- 


CONWAY: Wait, I just have a question for you. I have a very simple question for you. Why is it not important for you to replay and talk about the president's own words? Why don't you show him answering that question?

CUOMO: Because he's lying. 

CONWAY: No, but you don't want people to see him answer the question. 

CUOMO: What are you talking about? We play him all the time. I play his voice saying to Michael Cohen, what are we going to do? And then how are you going to do it? What do you mean about financing?

CONWAY: Christopher -- 


CUOMO: Play the tape. Play the tape. Remind everybody what he said to Michael Cohen. 

CONWAY: No, not that tape. 

CUOMO: Play the tape. Play it.

CONWAY: You know what tape -- 


MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David, you know, so that -- I'm going to do that right away. I've actually come up and I've spoken -- 


COHEN: And I've spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with -- 

TRUMP: So what do we have to pay for this? 

COHEN: -- funding. 

TRUMP: One fifty?

COHEN: Yes. And it's all the stuff -- 

REPORTER: Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels? 

TRUMP: No, no. 

INTERVIEWER: Did you know about the payment? 

TRUMP: Later on I knew. Later on. 


CUOMO: Yes, he knew later on. He knew before. He's lying. 


CONWAY: Wait, I think we should all -- 

CUOMO: Is that Michael Cohen and President Trump talking about the deal? CONWAY: You know what tape I want to hear -- 

CUOMO: Kellyanne -- 

CONWAY: Excuse me, tell us what's on the tape of Chris Cuomo and Michael Cohen. What's on the two-hour tape with the tape of you?

CUOMO: Tons of stuff.

CONWAY: OK, we'll tell us.

CUOMO: I'll tell you why I can't.

CONWAY: Transparency. Accountability. Facts first. Why?

CUOMO: Yes, I tell you, because there's a little difference between you and the shop you're working for, integrity.

CONWAY: The White House? How dare you?

CUOMO: My conversation with him -- how dare me. You admit he's lying about these things. It's as plain on the nose on my face. 


CUOMO: You should admit he's lying, and you don't and that's why people don't trust you. 

CONWAY: No, you know what?

CUOMO: That's why. 


CUOMO: And you want me to answer your question, I will. Michael Cohen had a conversation with me. He asked me -- excuse me. He asked me not to record it, I said I won't. 

He said just to be careful, let me have your phone, I said here. He then said, we'll take our phones. I'll put them away. He did. He recorded me on a secondary device. 

CONWAY: How do you feel about that? 

CUOMO: I think that that was dishonest and it was a bad thing to do.

CONWAY: Dishonest -- 

CUOMO: And I'll tell you what? You know what we talked about in the conversation? I'm not going to tell you, you know why? Because it was off-the-record and I respect that, even though he did me wrong. That's called integrity. 

What do you do when people aren't watching? I'm still not going to burn him even though he did something wrong. He can answer that for himself. I'll tell you, there's nothing on it that I'm worried about. I know why you guys want to leak it but -- hold on a second, this isn't about me. You tried, you failed. He's on that tape, on there with Michael Cohen and he's lying about not knowing before these payments and you should admit it. 

CONWAY: Are you going to talk about -- 

CUOMO: No, you have to admit it. You have to.

CONWAY: No, I don't. Are you kidding me?

CUOMO: Because you say to people the truth isn't the truth.

CONWAY: The president just answered the question.

CUOMO: He says don't believe -- 

CONWAY: I didn't say that. Listen to me.

CUOMO: -- what you see and hear -- 

CONWAY: No, no, he's saying -- 

CUOMO: And it's all destroying people's sense of normalcy and decency and integrity. 

CONWAY: You don't ask question, you just want to -- 


CUOMO: You've asked me -- 

CONWAY: You've asked me ten times the same question and let me tell you, the president already answered the question. 

CUOMO: He's lying. 

CONWAY: No, that's what you think. 

CUOMO: That's what "The Washington Post" says. That's what Michael Cohen says. That's what David Pecker says and I think it's going to wind up being the court says.

CONWAY: And Michael Cohen who just said disappointed you by being dishonest -- 

CUOMO: Yes, you're disappointing me right now. Doesn't mean you're not my friend, doesn't mean I think you lie all the time, just because you're disappointing me. 

CONWAY: You've got about 10 times the words I do so far, and I'm guest. So -- 

CUOMO: Because you're not answering the simple question.

CONWAY: You came all the way down here to interview White House guests. 

CUOMO: Go ahead.

CONWAY: Christopher, here's a very, very simple answer to you. When you say to me that this is why the audience doesn't trust you -- 


CONWAY: -- you know why the audience doesn't trust the White House because all day long on your network, all they hear is how terrible we all are, that we lack integrity, that we lie. 

CUOMO: He lies.

CONWAY: What is it that you think I lie about? Here, tell the world.

CUOMO: I'm asking you -- 

CONWAY: No, no, answer.


CUOMO: -- to admit that he is lying about what happened on these payments? I don't think it is helpful to you to play games about something. I'll give you that free advice. 

CONWAY: Do you think it's a lie, true or false, do you think it's a lie that ICE and CBP were honored this week on Monday by the president of the United States for all the great work they're doing, that the mayor of Philadelphia danced the jig or whatever the heck he was doing after he announced that Philadelphia will no longer get data to ICE and turned around and the guy who had been deported, came back five years later, ICE asked for a detainer for the man, Philadelphia let him go and he raped a 5-year-old child, none of this is fact? None of this is true? None of this matters? 

CUOMO: Who says it's not fact? Who says it's not true? 

CONWAY: How is that less relevant that you trying to get me to answer the same question 12 times. Did the president of the United States -- 

CUOMO: You keep ducking it. He lied, Kellyanne. 

CONWAY: I'm ducking. He answered the question.

CUOMO: He lied.

CONWAY: Why are his words not important to you? 

CUOMO: Because he's lying. They are important to me. I'm asking about them because they are -- 

CONWAY: What do you think I lied about?

CUOMO: -- material misrepresentation of fact for the purposes of deception. It's a lie. CONWAY: What crime was committed? What charges were filed against

Donald Trump this week? 

CUOMO: The bar of proper behavior by a president is not a felony, OK?

CONWAY: Do you think anything that you've just said, excuse me, he didn't commit a felony. Do you think anything that he can say -- 

CUOMO: I'm saying, you lied, that matters. That is a crime against the American people. It's a crime of leadership. It's a crime of integrity. Stop lying to them. And he is lying. 

CONWAY: And you know what a lie is, that on July 27th, you guys came out with this big report, nobody is retracting it yet, three big bylines. 

CUOMO: Oh, so, let me get you on the record the other way. Do you think the president is telling the truth that he never knew about the payments until after -- 

CONWAY: He's saying the he knew about them after the fact. I never knew about them. 

CUOMO: I don't care about when you knew about them. 

CONWAY: No, no, you should absolutely care about them. 

CUOMO: No, I care about them.

CONWAY: I'll tell you why. You should absolutely care that the campaign manager for the winning part of the campaign think that there's nothing to be gained with meeting with Russians and talking to people in Moscow instead of Michigan, and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina -- you should very much care that I don't know about payments -- 

CUOMO: No, I care about the president.

CONWAY: Excuse me, and you should be reminded that every single night, CNN was featuring another woman with another story. You play the "Access Hollywood" tape constantly, thinking that it would hurt the candidate, he would never be elected. CNN interfered in the election daily by shifting the scales -- 

CUOMO: Are we a foreign inimical power? 


CONWAY: -- with your phony polling, and everybody saying, excuse me, that he could never win. 

CUOMO: People say we didn't cover his lying and bad character enough. That's what I get criticized for.

CONWAY: Christopher, unless you give $50 every time you say the word, it used to be collusion, tonight is lying -- CUOMO: No, they both matter. By the way, both words matter. We

don't know if there's proof of one. There's an investigation going on that our president disrupts every chance he gets, and lying matters. 

CONWAY: So, you've covered that more -- you cover that more than the booming economy. You cover that more than the low unemployment rate. You cover that more than the consumer -- 

CUOMO: He talks about this more than he talks about all of those things.

CONWAY: You were a world class journalist, who used to go to plane crash sites and cover war -- 

CUOMO: I go now, I was in Helsinki and saw one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen in my life. 

CONWAY: Oh, we saw what you wrote about it. We saw what you wrote about it. 

CUOMO: Yes, it was really embarrassing.

CONWAY: Would you take that back? 

CUOMO: No, not a chance. It was embarrassing.

CONWAY: It was the story that CNN published on July 27.

CUOMO: It was embarrassing what happened in Helsinki.

CONWAY: That needs to be walked back.


CUOMO: And I'm glad you didn't have to experience it the way we did. I'm not ignoring anything. I'm speaking to what is true. I got to tell you something -- 

CONWAY: Booming economy, consumer confidence -- 


CUOMO: Those are all good indices. 

CONWAY: If you want to ask one question -- 

CUOMO: I talk about what matters on this show all the time.

CONWAY: You know what matters, is the president was asked the same question that you were asking me and he answered it. 

CUOMO: And he lied.

CONWAY: No, only he knows what he believes, only he knows what he knows. 

CUOMO: Only he knows what he believes? 

CONWAY: Only he knows what experienced. Only he knows what he -- 

CUOMO: But that's not true. 

CONWAY: Why? Because you say so?

CUOMO: Because it's not a matter of perspective. 

CONWAY: Tell me where this is going?

CUOMO: It's not eyewitness testimony. 

CONWAY: Tell me where this is going.

CUOMO: He's not the only one who knows if he's telling the truth or not. Michael Cohen knows, David Pecker knows. Mr. Weisselberg maybe knows. 


CONWAY: Do you think he should be impeached? 

CUOMO: It's not my call to make. 

CONWAY: But CNN and MSNBC said the word 222 times yesterday for an average of 3.5, once every 3.5 minutes if you take out commercials.

CUOMO: Do you think we should tell the truth to the American people?


CONWAY: For what purpose?

CUOMO: Do you think he should tell the truth to the American people? 

CONWAY: Yes, and I think you should, too. And here's the truth -- 

CUOMO Do you think he should be impeached if he's been shown to be lying to the American people consistently about criminal conduct?

CONWAY: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo going back to North Korea again because they're trying to denuclearize -- 


CUOMO: Is he going there before or after he goes to South Africa to help out those white farmers that the president mistakenly told people they're being hunted down and killed and having their land stolen? 


CUOMO: You don't want to talk about? The South Africa tweet last night?

CONWAY: No, I want to talk about what matters to Americans because I actually talk to them every day. I'm not perched in some anchor's lair, I mean, chair, telling everybody, pontificating about what's important to them. I read the mail that comes to the White House, good, bad and ugly. I go out and talk to people. 

I travel constantly -- 

CUOMO: And they say we don't care if the president lies to us about criminal conduct? 

CONWAY: No, what they care about is that the president is doing everything he said he would do. He's keeping his promises. 

CUOMO: Did he promise to tell them the truth?

CONWAY: We were told -- excuse me. We were told that it's going to be global recession, and the stock market will crash, including on this network.

CUOMO: Did he promise to drain the swamp? 

CONWAY: We were told that everything, the economy, would never be the same, it would be a huge disaster and it went in the opposite direction. 

CUOMO: Does it mean it's OK for him to lie about criminal conduct? 

CONWAY: Christopher, is this all you're going to talk about in this show? 

CUOMO: I want you to own it. I want you to own it the way his former lawyer did.

CONWAY: No, you want me to say something -- 

CUOMO: I want you own the truth. That's what I want you to do. 

CONWAY: -- that he has denied. And I work next to him every single day. You know what I see? I see someone who's doing his best for this country and the results show it and you know it. 

What is the message of this opposition? 

CUOMO: Hold on. I don't know it.


CONWAY: You don't know it?

CUOMO: I don't know it. No, I don't. You know why? 

CONWAY: Because you and I are wealthy. Because our kids are already -- 


CUOMO: You're using one simple metric of success in leadership. CONWAY: If you're one of 6 million Americans who received a bonus or

a raise, if you're one of the -- 


CUOMO: Yes, who did better in that tax cuts, people like us or the people who voted for Trump in the middle class? Who did better? Eighty-three cents of every dollar went to people like us. 

You want to play facts, we can. I study them all the time. 


CUOMO: Please, I treat you as somebody as somebody who comes in here to represent the president. You know, man, woman, or other you're going to get the same treatment. No one can shut you down. 

CONWAY: You're not even letting me speak. 

CUOMO: I am, but you are dissembling and you're distracting.

CONWAY: You're shutting me down.

CUOMO: Nobody can shut you down. We both know that.

CONWAY: You're not even letting me speak.

CUOMO: Eighty-three cents of every dollar went to the top, OK? The black unemployment rate went down with the main unemployment rate, but relative to white, it is still just as bad. OK? That's the right measure. 

CONWAY: Why doesn't it matter it's the lowest in history? Why does it matter -- 

CUOMO: It does matter. 

CONWAY: Excuse me. Why doesn't it matter there are 6.6 million able jobs right now for Americans who want it. The president is working on prison reform. He's breaking the back of the opioid crisis. 

Yesterday, including -- 

CUOMO: He's not breaking the back of the opioid crisis. 

CONWAY: It is. I went up -- 

CUOMO: It's terrible. We both know it is. It's spreading. 

CONWAY: Let me know when I can talk.

CUOMO: You guys want to address it and I respect that. I can't let you say things that aren't true. That's not what this show is about. That's Fox. You go to Fox for that. 

CONWAY: OK, I'm so glad you mentioned Fox because none of you are able to get through most of your shows without mentioning them. 

CUOMO: Why are talking about? I almost never mention by their name.


CONWAY: Look, not to be so jealous of Fox News's rating. 

CUOMO: I'm jealous of the opportunities they get to test power. They just don't take them. That's what I'm jealous of. 

CONWAY: Sure. Ainsley Earhardt asked every question you asked me. That's where you got the answers. 

CUOMO: Listen, I'm not in the business of attacking people in business. But let me tell you -- 

CONWAY: You do. You do constantly.

CUOMO: But let me tell you -- 

CONWAY: No, no, you didn't let me talk about the things that matter. You're either going to let me talk or you're not.

CUOMO: If you're going to argue the economy, you've got to be straight about it. If you want to talk about African-Americans and the economy, be straight about it. The gap between rich and poor, the gap between black and white is as bad as it's been and it should be addressed. 

CONWAY: How do you think poverty went in the last eight years? Do you think it went up or down, the number of people in poverty? Oh, I know up, by over 700,000. 

How many -- what is the unemployment rate among African-Americans and Hispanics, veterans, people with just a high school degree or less, women? Way down. Why isn't that good? Why did you say -- 

CUOMO: It was. It was good when it was happening under Obama, too. Now it's good it's happening under Trump. Of course, it was.

CONWAY: He raised taxes. 

CUOMO: Of course, it was. I just did a whole comparative analysis of it. 

CONWAY: How many Americans don't have health care eight and a half years after Obamacare? Oh, I know, close to 30 million.

CUOMO: And what did you do to try to wreck it? By removing the individual mandate. Now putting them in cost-sharing revenues. Nice job. Let's see what's happening with people's insurance now despite all over the country -- 


CONWAY: Let me say, I'm not going to let you get away with saying that we're not breaking the back of the opioid crisis because there's this whole government approach -- 

CUOMO: You're not.

CONWAY: -- and the House legislation HR-6, I know it'll never get a platform otherwise on CNN because it's too important for America. 

CUOMO: Who brought you on TV to talk about opioids? 

CONWAY: Wait, HR-6 passed 396 -- 

CUOMO: Who brought you on TV -- 

CONWAY: Not you because you're interrupting me.

CUOMO: Who brought you on TV to talk about opioids?

CONWAY: What is it about -- 

CUOMO: I did on this show. 

CONWAY: -- powerful, articulate women on TV that bother you as guest? Hey, Christopher -- 

CUOMO: You don't have to play cheap with me. Just own what's real. 

CONWAY: From 2015 to '16, the number of overdoes deaths in this country increased by 22 percent. From '16 to '17, it increased by 10 percent. We're trying to slow the growth. We didn't -- 

CUOMO: Slowing the growth isn't shutting it down. I think what you're trying it to do is good. 


CUOMO: I think the president saying what he said the other day, you have to look what China is doing and importing all these opioids wrongly into this country -- 

CONWAY: Fentanyl is. They're synthetic opioids is named fentanyl. If your audience doesn't know what fentanyl is -- 

CUOMO: Of course, they know what it is. We talk about it on a regular basis. I did a documentary about it. I had you on to talk about it. We cover it as it moves across the country. What you're saying is disingenuous.


CUOMO: And another attempt to make people dislike the media. And that's an un-American. 

CONWAY: Fentanyl, impeachment, what did you think is mentioned more on CNN? Twenty-nine thousand people died last year in this country because, 30,000 or so.

CUOMO: It all matters. CONWAY: Zero died because of impeachment. Zero died because of collusion. Zero died because of the word lying.

CUOMO: That's not the bar -- 

CONWAY: Yes, it is.

CUOMO: -- of presidential behavior.


CONWAY: I'm here to help people.

CUOMO: So if the economy is good, you can lie whenever you want, you can divide the country anyway you want, you can play the racist sympathy whenever you want, but it's OK because the stock market is up? Is that your argument? 

CONWAY: Tell everybody what do you think we lie about?

CUOMO: I think the president lied about something that refers to criminal conduct. 

CONWAY: Thank you for telling everybody I'm not a liar. He's telling you right now, why do you have her on? 

CUOMO: Hold on. I didn't call you a liar. I'm saying the president lied about something. 

CONWAY: Thank you.

CUOMO: You refuse to acknowledge it. That makes you complicit in the lying. 


CONWAY: Oh, cut it out. 

CUOMO: Sure it does. If you won't own something you know is a lie, you're complicit in the lie. 

CONWAY: Where is the charge against the president? 

CUOMO: You don't need charges -- 

CONWAY: Yes, you do.

CUOMO: -- to be a liar, and you know it. 

CONWAY: Christopher, where's the charge against the president? Show me.

CUOMO: There are none. And by law there probably can't be any, so that's a false standard. He was just named as a co-conspirator with Michael Cohen. 

CONWAY: He wasn't named as a co-conspirator. 

CUOMO: He's in the plea agreement. Who was the person running for federal office? Was it someone else? 

CONWAY: Listen to me.

CUOMO: Was it someone else?

CONWAY: Has the president been able to respond to that? 

CUOMO: A hundred million times. 

CONWAY: OK, and he did on tape yesterday and today. 

CUOMO: And he's lying. Do you understand? 

CONWAY: That's your opinion. 

CUOMO: "The Washington Post" covered it all. Michael Cohen says it, David Pecker says it, the government says it. 

CONWAY: Listen, all of you were against him. You said he could never win. You said he would never make it. 

CUOMO: That doesn't make it OK to lie. 

CONWAY: Do you think anything you've discussed in the Manafort or Cohen trials -- excuse me or Cohen pleading anything would be discussed tonight would have made Hillary Clinton to go to Wisconsin? I mean, what is it about?

CUOMO: I don't care about that. That is silly distraction, very Trumpy. 

CONWAY: No, no, excuse me to quote influence an election. How exactly? How?

CUOMO: How do I care about any of that? He's the president of the United States, he lied about criminal conduct. 

CONWAY: You're talking about that. 

CUOMO: That's why I'm talking about it. Had he lost, I wouldn't care what he was lying about. I don't care about his personal life.

CONWAY: No, no, excuse me, you're talking about 2016.

CUOMO: No, I'm not talking about 2016. 

CONWAY: To influence an election -- you are. 

CUOMO: I'm talking about him lying about the these payments again and again to the American people. And he shouldn't do it. 

CONWAY: The Manafort stuff was 2006, but the -- CUOMO: And if he wants to pardon Manafort, he can, that's his power.

We heard the talk about it. Rudy says that if the president said he didn't want any pardons until this is all over, maybe that's true, maybe that isn't. It's up to him. That's his pardoning power. 

So, if he wants to pardon Manafort he can. That's his right, that's his role. 

CONWAY: He never discussed with me directly though. He's probably discussed it with his lawyers. But that's -- 

CUOMO: Do you think he should pardon Paul Manafort? 

CONWAY: I think that if you invite a White House guest and the counselor of the president who spend, is with the president every day, talks to him every day, was in three meetings with him just today, you ought to at least have basic curiosity if not decent integrity to ask me what it is we do there, what it is we're working on. 

CNN has had all wall to wall coverage today about sessions. You're not covering the meeting that they had together -- 

CUOMO: You don't think it matters he keeps disrespecting his attorney general, undermining confidence in him by the American people in his own department? 

CONWAY: No, this is very simple. The president is very clear on this through his tweets, through his statements, through his interview with Fox News, highly rated Fox News, Christopher. He said to them that since you had to go there, he said that he's upset, he's frustrated, rightly so. 

CUOMO: Get rid of him.

CONWAY: No, no, many of us are frustrated that we never had an investigation on the other side. Where is the investigation, Comey, in the cave -- 

CUOMO: You know, some people investigate on the basis of merits. 

CONWAY: Oh, you think it's not merited? 

CUOMO: So, you got your own attorney general in there who loves Donald Trump even though he just defecates all over the guy on a regular basis. And -- 


CUOMO: Well, he does. I've never seen anyone treat someone the way he treats his attorney general. He should just get rid of him. He should give him the dignity of asking him to leave -- 


CUOMO: -- if he's going to attack him all the time. CONWAY: Something that will actually impact Americans. No American

is impacted by your nonsense collusion, your fantasies about impeachment -- 

CUOMO: So, if he wants Jeff Sessions to help advance an agenda when he tells everybody that he doesn't respect him all the time?

CONWAY: No, no.

CUOMO: Come on.

CONWAY: They were together after that. Aren't you the least bit interested -- 


CUOMO: I think it speaks to Jeff Sessions having a hell of a lot sense of duty to the American people. 


CONWAY: I mean, what this president has been able to accomplish -- I would at least expect you as someone who love his country and I know you do to say, you know what, Kelly, here are five things Donald Trump has done as president that I can get behind and I'm proud of. Can you name them? 

CUOMO: No, my job -- 

CONWAY: No, you can't exactly -- 

CUOMO: Because that's not my job. That's not my job. 

CONWAY: Your job is not to love this country and to say the president of the United States -- 


CUOMO: You love the country by making sure that the integrity of its leadership and their ability to look at the people of this country and tell the truth is intact. 


CONWAY: The corporate tax rate going from 35 to 21 percent that's unleashed wealth -- 

CUOMO: Does the truth matter, yes or no? 

CONWAY: That's the truth.

CUOMO: Does the truth matter?

CONWAY: The truth always matters. 

CUOMO: Good. Is he telling it truth about these payments? CONWAY: Do you ever hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

You decide selectively what you're going to cover -- 

CUOMO: Is he telling in all counts, does he tell the truth about these payments?. 

CONWAY: There's wall to wall coverage about a missing woman in Iowa until she was found, and god rest her soul, and then you don't even have he decency -- 

CUOMO: God rest her soul. You're not letting her soul rest. You're waving like a flag. 

CONWAY: No, I would never.

CUOMO: We're hijacking her grief.

CONWAY: How dare you?

CUOMO: If you're not with us about immigrants and you don't care about - 

CONWAY: How dare you?


CUOMO: How dare you and how dare the president and you do that. Just like Kate Steinle. So if you don't want to abuse immigrants the way the president does, then if you want to assume they're all murderers, the way the president wants people to believe that you don't care about Kate Steinle and Mollie Tibbetts.

CONWAY: He's never said that. You don't care about the ones who have been murdered to say that this is how it happens. This is how we can all -- 

CUOMO: Over 17,000 murders in this country in 2016. How many times has he stood up and said this is an atrocity when happened. 

CONWAY: Many times.

CUOMO: Only when the people who killed them are someone that he wants to target. 

CONWAY: That's not true. 

CUOMO: Come on.

CONWAY: What happened to the Democrats, CNN covered 55 minutes of a live meeting in the cabinet room in late January where he was flanked by the Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate to talk about DACA, the Dreamers. Where did they go? Why aren't they there? Why when they felt -- why didn't the Democrats talk about immigration -- 

CUOMO: They brought out a deal, Schumer told me. CONWAY: No, wrong.

CUOMO: And he denied it. There's the truth. 

CONWAY: Why when they talk about immigration, they only think of the Dreamers? Why?

CUOMO: There's the truth. Here we go. 

CONWAY: Why don't they respect ICE and Customs -- 


CUOMO: Here's the nice us them thing. 

We're after the farmers in South Africa, the real racism problem -- 


CONWAY: Yes or no, do you think that's a good idea to have immigration -- 

CUOMO: It's not my job to make policy decisions. It is my job to test them. 


CUOMO: I'll tell you what I think is wrong. Saying you care about Mollie Tibbetts and calling her permanently separated from her family, is that how you describe someone when they're murdered? 

CONWAY: I said God rest her soul and I didn't say her name.

CUOMO: He said she was permanently separated from her family. Is that the time to play ugly politics because he's upset and about what happened with him putting kids in cages permanently separated? 


CONWAY: But why can't you say what happened? 


CUOMO: I did two segments on it yesterday. Of course, there are cracks in the system. Of course, her murder but for that man being here illegally wouldn't have happened.

CONWAY: Do you think we should get a vote on case law? Do you think the grief of Laura and -- 


CUOMO: I think you should do whatever you can to stop illegal immigration but you don't have to treat the immigrants like crap to do that. You don't have to reduce yourself -- 

CONWAY: He said he would do a deal on the Dreamers. 


CUOMO: Then he didn't. 

CONWAY: Where are the Democrats? Where did they go?

CUOMO: They brought him a deal and he said no. 

CONWAY: No, he didn't. 

CUOMO: He said, I want the whole wall. They give money for the wall. He said I want more wall. It was a fugazi promise. Just like his executive order to fix the kids' separation.

CONWAY: Not true.

CUOMO: He was never going to do anything about it. He put it on Congress. It sits at the top of the executive order.

CONWAY: And you know your party and you have one, just own it. You know that your party -- 

CUOMO: I have no party.

CONWAY: -- started this year off shutting down the government right after they have voted -- 

CUOMO: I have no party. What I have is a purpose, and the purpose is to try to test power and get them to tell the truth to the American people. That's the purpose. 


CONWAY: Don't you care at all that the president is working on prison reform so that -- 

CUOMO: Let's see what he does. Let's see what he does.

CONWAY: -- they will pay their debt to society and they're eligible and we're trying to help them reenter into society. 

CUOMO: Let's see what he does. I think that's great. 

CONWAY: Are the money that we've gotten for opioids, historic amount of money -- 

CUOMO: You know what's also great, not calling them sons of bitches. That's also great.


CUOMO: People of color. Who was he talking about?

CONWAY: Oh, stop it, Christopher. You don't care that he's trying to help people. CUOMO: How was he helping people by saying that? 

CONWAY: Was that about the national anthem and about standing for the flag and you show respect -- 


CUOMO: And he said get the hell out the country. Is that how you support black Americans?

CONWAY: You do this when they play the national anthem or don't you? Yes or no?

CUOMO: I do.

CONWAY: OK, why?

CUOMO: Because it's my damn choice, that's why. Because it's my damn choice, because I'm an American and I'll exercise my freedom anyway I want to and that doesn't hurt anybody else. And that's what they're doing, too, OK?

CONWAY: Because pretty much everybody in the stands is doing that. I've been there.


CUOMO: God bless them and that is their right, and it's your right not to. Last time I checked there are few things as much of a signature right in America as I understood it than to protest injustice in a nonviolent -- 


CUOMO: That he should stop saying that he's going to make war if people don't do what he wants.

CONWAY: No, no, he has said he likes to bring peace wherever he can. He said that. That's why he went to Helsinki. 

CUOMO: Did he?

CONWAY: That's why he went to Singapore. That's why he got -- he tore up the awful Iran nuclear deal, which just shoveled over piles of cash and turned over too much to them. That's why just this week, Benjamin Netanyahu said that this is the best friend Israel's ever had. 

This is why a very Democratic councilmember I believe or a state assembly member from Queens said thank you to the president for deporting this Nazi -- 

CUOMO: Good.

CONWAY: Cover it. Say, Kellyanne, you know what I disagree with the president, I'm going to hound you all the day long -- CUOMO: It's not about disagreeing with the president or agreeing with

the president. It's about holding him to account for what he says and does. 

CONWAY: OK, but you know what? Hold him up when he does things like, his ICE deports a 95-year-old Nazi who's responsible for many, many deaths. 

CUOMO: When you refuse to tell the truth to the American people -- 

CONWAY: Why wasn't he deported before?

CUOMO: -- you surrender the right to get applause, OK?

CONWAY: Why did other president say that they are going to do that and not do that? Why did other presidents say I'm going to move the embassy to Jerusalem and failed to do that? 


CUOMO: But I will tell you this now, and I make it to you as a promise, all right? As you know, nobody works harder than we do to do this job, all right? 

CONWAY: Who, you?

CUOMO: In this place, on my team, in this shop of CNN. We work very hard to tell people what is true and test power.

CONWAY: (INAUDIBLE) for humility.

CUOMO: Nobody outworks us every day. I'm telling you this -- 

CONWAY: Chris, let me just have a word about that.

CUOMO: All I wanted to tell you was that you need to own the truth. 

CONWAY: You sound like a scold most of the time.

CUOMO: I sound like a scold. You called me -- 


CUOMO: You said in a condescending fashion and I never said anything to you about it. Listen, we know what it is and I'm saying that's your style, that's fine. I got to go now. I'm out of time. I gave you more time than anybody else would.

CONWAY: Except me. No, you gave yourself a lot of time because you talked pretty much the entire time. 

CUOMO: I don't think that's true. I'll give you a word count at the end. 

CONWAY: Well, Christopher, look, the guest should have many words. You know, I don't. CUOMO: No, I don't. I think the job is to test power and if you won't answer the question, you're going to get that. 

CONWAY: You didn't test power. You didn't test power.

CUOMO: You are power, I'm testing you.

CONWAY: I am power, but you don't even ask what we work on. And once in a while -- 

CUOMO: I'm asking about things that matter not just what you want to talk about. He's lying to the American people about criminal conduct. 

CONWAY: OK, you want to talk about the truth -- 

CUOMO: He should have disclosed loans that he didn't, he should have told the truth about what happened, he shouldn't have been part of a conspiracy to get around election laws. Those are things he could own and still not have any criminal exposure. 

CONWAY: Do you respect me in the job I'm trying to do on behalf of the country? 

CUOMO: Yes. 

CONWAY: Do you think I need to be in the White House? 


CONWAY: Why do you think I'm there?

CUOMO: Because I think you think you're doing the right thing.

CONWAY: And I am, because I love this country and I'm one small molecule in the government that's trying to do well. 

Do you respect our cabinet? Do you respect the vice president? Do you respect the president? Do you see what we're trying to do -- 

CUOMO: I respect what I see and what I hear. 

CONWAY: When the veterans have the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Accountability Act, V.A. Choice that allows them to access care -- 

CUOMO: And you have his country club buddies making decisions for the V.A. who haven't been vetted, who haven't been asked whether or not they are qualified. 


CONWAY: -- Secretary Wilkie yesterday. That is not true.

CUOMO: It is true.

CONWAY: That's not true. It was Secretary Wilkie yesterday, he was confirmed by the Senate something like 86-9. CUOMO: And he had these guys from Mar-a-Lago who are helping on the

side that should have never been done that way. 

CONWAY: Again, you're not telling the veterans that he gave them disposition of their G.I. Bill benefits at -- 


CUOMO: That part matters. 

Look, I've got to go. I'm giving you too much with the show.

CONWAY: At the V.A. 

That's OK. Next time, let the guest speak. And they won't -- 

CUOMO: Look, I will always give you an opportunity to come on about what matters. 

CONWAY: Remember, the whole truth also includes all the good economic news. 

CUOMO: No, that's not how the truth works. The economy is true -- 

CONWAY: Now, thank you. The truth is just what you think it is.

CUOMO: No, no, it's what you try to make people believe it is. 


CUOMO: The truth is how is the economy doing, did he lie about these payments.

CONWAY: Thank you for admitting that.

CUOMO: Separate but equal. 

Thank you for coming on this show. 

CONWAY: God bless you. Christopher is endearing. He's not a scold.

CUOMO: Stay don't leave yet. We've got to wait for the commercial.