Close Trump advisor Michael Cohen and CNN's Chris Cuomo spar over Bill Clinton's sexual history, Donald Trump's friendship with the Clintons and his defense of them in the 90s and more in a Tuesday morning interview on the channel's morning show. Cohen said Clinton's strategy against Trump is backfiring and women are increasingly turning against her for being the "enabler in chief."
"Bill Clinton, why go after Bill Clinton, isn't that bad for Donald Trump?" asked CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"Why?" Cohen retorted. "Why is it bad for Mr. Trump? What he is doing is he is exposing, not just Bill Clinton for what he was and what he had done, but it' the same as it relates to Hillary. She attacked Mr. Trump as being a sexist, misogynist, and he is not any of those things. They're trying to portray him as such so they can turn the women against Mr. Trump, when in fact, the women seem to be turning against Hillary Clinton for being the enabler in chief."
"She is the enabler in chief and he happens to be the sexist," Cohen continued. "So instead, she needs to win the women's vote. That's what she needs. She is not going to win the men's vote. She needs to go after the women's vote. She is not going to be able to do that if Donald Trump is not portrayed by the Clinton campaign as a sexist. So she is deflecting."
Cuomo grilled Cohen on Trump's past defense of Bill Clinton, which Cohen rebutted with Clinton calling Trump the greatest businessman on several occasions. Cohen explained Trump's previous defense of the Clintons as just "being a friend."
"There's a difference between lying and being a friend," Cohen said about Trump's switch on the Clintons.
Cohen said it doesn't matter what Trump said when he was private individual as he had no obligation to anyone.
"That's hypocrisy," Cuomo said.
"Donald Trump is counter-puncher. Had she not accused him of a being a sexist, this ad would not have come out," Cohen said on Tuesday's edition of CNN's New Day.
Eventually the conversation devolved into Trump's reported dealings with the mafia for cheap concrete.
After the 15 minute+ sparring match the two shook hands.
Partial transcript, via Media Matters:
CHRIS CUOMO (HOST): Here are my two reasons that I think it's bad for him. One, hypocrite, two, glass houses. He defended Bill Clinton for years. He said the same allegations that you guys are talking about now, were a waste of time, were wrong, were hollow, that Bill Clinton was a terrific guy. That he was a great president. That the impeachment was wrong, that it was a waste of time.
MICHAEL COHEN: And Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump was one of the smartest, best businessmen in the United States on several occasions. Now she is attacking him on these ads.
CUOMO: So she is bad, too. So she is bad, too. Isn't he bad for saying that Bill Clinton is great and now going after him?
COHEN: All he is doing is giving the facts.
CUOMO: No, no, no. He knew the facts then in the '90s when this was all happening and he said it was all BS.
COHEN: He was a private citizen who was friendly with the Clintons, and he was trying to protect a friend, all right. Now, it's a different game. It's 2016, he is the presidential, he's the Republican presidential nominee --
CUOMO: Michael. Michael, if you decide to run for office and people say, hey you knew Cuomo, you used to say he's a good guy-- now I'm running against him, Cuomo is a bum, that makes it okay?
CUOMO: Come on. Michael, please!
COHEN: If I was telling the truth --
CUOMO: So he was lying then?
COHEN: He was not lying. He was protecting a friend.
CUOMO: What's the difference?
COHEN: The difference is he was being a true friend. He was-- it didn't matter to him.
CUOMO: So he would be friends with a guy that he thought was a piece of crap, basically?
COHEN: What his relationship is with his wife is between the two of them. Now it's different. They're attacking Mr. Trump on a daily basis. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent in attack ads, whereas-- it's funny, because I keep seeing CNN and others talking about these two ads that are going against one another right now. Mr. Trump spent probably $250 dollars on his ad and no expense in terms of getting it out and she's probably spent several millions or thousands.
CUOMO: You could argue there's a difference. What it's worth, why is he going after stuff that he used to defend the guy with? He called Paula Jones a loser.
COHEN: Do you know what the difference is? The ad that he put out against the Clintons is legitimate. The one she put out against him is inaccurate.
CUOMO: He says it's illegitimate. He said it in the 90s. He said Linda Tripp was a lying loser.
COHEN: Let's talk about 2016 Chris. We're not going to talk about 1990 when he was defending Bill Clinton because it didn't matter.
CUOMO: Why would I trust you if you say that all the things you said then were false?
COHEN: He was a private individual --
CUOMO: So you tell the truth when you're politician but you lie when you're private individual.
COHEN: He had no obligation to say anything to anybody.
CUOMO: He said plenty.
COHEN: So what? Because he is Donald Trump.
CUOMO: That's the record of what you believe.
COHEN: No, no, no. It was -- he was standing up for a man who he considered to be a friend at the time.
CUOMO: So he was saying things that he knew was untrue at the time?
CUOMO: Did he believe them to be true at the time?
COHEN: I don't think he knew the answer. He was standing up for a friend.
CUOMO: He called Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, the personification of evil. He didn't know what he was talking about?
COHEN: The person who called all of them the worse was Hillary Clinton, the great enabler.
CUOMO: This is about your guy, what he said: "Paula Jones is a loser and may be responsible for bringing down the president indirectly." Did he know it or did he not know it?
COHEN: You'll have to ask him that question. You'll have to ask him that question.
CUOMO: Mike -- Michael, that' is a nice dodge, my friend -- very well done on that. That's what I'm saying is that's the hypocrisy part. You defended the guy more than anybody else basically, who didn't have to, and now you're bringing all the same attacks, and saying "it's different now, I'm running for office." I think that sounds like hypocrisy.