CNN's Chris Cuomo and Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka got in a heated argument on Monday's broadcast of New Day over the proposed travel ban. Gorka accused Cuomo and CNN of spinning "classic fake news" while Cuomo said Gorka represents the "the purveyor of spin."
"You are the purveyor of spin because that was your message, that it wasn't a ban, and it is untrue," Cuomo said to Gorka.
"I'm not going to fall into the trap of us being spin-meisters when CNN has been one of the greatest purveyors of fake news," Gorka shot back.
Later on Monday's edition of CNN New Day, with Gorka long gone, Cuomo took a shot at the White House insider in an interview with Fareed Zakaria. Cuomo called Gorka "condescending."
"Look at Sebastian Gorka," Cuomo said to Zakaria. "This ostensibly erudite man, presents himself very well, condescending because he knows so much and we know so little. But what he has to define the policy and end it, what does he say? Well, Obama did it. Well, we picked the same ones as Obama."
Transcript, via CNN:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Joining us now is the deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka. It's good to have you, sir.
DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for having me.
CUOMO: So Sean Spicer, everybody else around the president scolded the media, stop calling it a travel ban this executive order. That's not what it is, you fake news people. AND then President Trump says what we've known all along, Sebastian. It is a ban. He likes that it's a ban. He likes the original ban, and that's what he wants everybody to know. Why play the games?
GORKA: There are no games. The president can call it whatever he likes because he has the constitutional authority to control whoever comes into this country, Chris. That's his job. The constitution, tradition, precedents, and administrative law give him that right. If he wants to call it a ban he's the president, he's the chief officer of this administration, and he has every right to do that.
CUOMO: Right. And why wasn't the administration just honest about it all along? Why have Sean Spicer and you and everybody else say it's not a ban. It's just vetting. And you're trying to make it sound like something it isn't. The president just proved what the truth is. All this has been spin, and a distraction. Why?
GORKA: I'm not going to fall into the trap of us being the spin- meisters when CNN is one of the greatest purveyors of fake news. The fact is it's been the same since the beginning, from the first E.O. to the second E.O., it's one thing, Chris. It's about protecting Americans. And if anybody out there has a problem with us trying to keep Americans safe, then they need to look in the mirror and they need to ask themselves whether they are the purveyors of fake news.
CUOMO: Sebastian, it has always been about who it targets, how it targets them, and whether or not that is what will keep us safe, and you guys played games about it and said it's not a ban. I could play you Sean Spicer right now, but you know it's true. And then the president decides to be honest about it this morning. That is spin. You are the purveyor of spin because that was your message, that it wasn't a ban, and it was untrue. That's why I'm asking you.
GORKA: So I guess President Obama was also a purveyor of spin with that calculation, because the executive order is based upon the Obama White House analysis of the seven nations of greatest concern for immigration to America. Is he a purveyor of spin, Chris?
CUOMO: Well that's an interesting question, and while I --
GORKA: It is, isn't it?
CUOMO: And while I like that you must get away from President Trump and policy as quickly as possible.
GORKA: Not at all.
CUOMO: And blame Obama for everything.
GORKA: I'll talk about it for the next hour.
CUOMO: I'm sure you would, and eloquently so. However, the facts are not your friend here because that move with executive order from the Obama administration was about travel to those countries. It was about who's coming in and out and why. Your order is about Muslims, about targeting Muslims and keeping them out.
GORKA: Chris, let's stop that.
CUOMO: And allowing those who are not Muslim a carve-out to come in. Very different.
GORKA: Let's do a little 101, a little trivial pursuit. What is the most populous Muslim nation in the world, Chris?
CUOMO: You tell me. These are your answers.
GORKA: No, you tell me the biggest Muslim nation in the world. Massive population.
CUOMO: I want to give you the opportunity.
GORKA: You don't know.
CUOMO: Assume I know nothing. Go ahead.
GORKA: It's Indonesia. I will assume you know nothing. What is the largest Arab nation in the world?
CUOMO: You tell me.
GORKA: Egypt. So if this had anything, and I mean anything, to do with race or religion, why would those two nations, the most populous Muslim nations, and the most populous Arab nation, not be included on the executive order? Explain that logic to me, because this is where your spin fails. This is where the fake news propaganda collapses, because if we had some dark, dread ulterior motive, then those are the first two nations you would put on the list, not the seven nations that the Obama White House identified as greatest concern. So please answer that question.
CUOMO: I will, I will. First, what the Obama administration did was target travel from places that were known as hubs for terror, and that's different than what you're doing because you're targeting nationality. You could add Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the hijackers came from there. They're not on your list. There's speculation as to why.
But instead of looking who you didn't involve, you must look for legal and policy purposes in who you did involve. And those countries are all Muslim majority. You did a carve-out for non-Muslims. And that's why it got struck down originally, allegedly recognized as being overreaching by people like you, which is why you drafted a second one, which the president said he authorized and approved of and is now before the courts for scrutiny. So the intention is clear that you wanted to target Muslims from those places. I see that you're a little slow to want to own that.
GORKA: No, I'm still waiting for you to answer why would you not include Indonesia and Egypt. You still haven't answered the question. If it was about what you said it was about, then those would be the logical nations to include, but we didn't. So how do you explain that, Chris?
CUOMO: I explain it by you going with the original model to make it easier to pass because you were mimicking what Obama did and therefore masking your true intention was to not make it about travel, make it about Muslims. And as you well know not just in your own rhetoric but the president, he has said time and again that he thinks there's a problem with Islam, and that he thinks that the Muslims may have a problem with us. And as you know, with what we're seeing in the U.K. right now, attachment to the community of Muslims is so important, and the concern is that a move like this, trumpeted by the president in the midst of crisis in the U.K. sends an ugly message to our Muslim community here in the United States.
GORKA: Well, unfortunately, what you've just spun is classic fake news.
CUOMO: What is fake about what I said? What is factually inaccurate?
GORKA: There are no facts there. You are saying we used an Obama era analysis to quote --
CUOMO: You used his executive order.
GORKA: -- to cloak our intention. Can you give me one piece of evidence for that?
CUOMO: Yes, the language. You picked the same countries, was that a coincidence? No.
GORKA: No, because that's what government does. Government looks at analysis.
CUOMO: You picked the same countries. That's a fact.
GORKA: What is your proof we had another intent? Give me a piece of proof.
CUOMO: The language from the president.
GORKA: That's not proof.
CUOMO: The same thing district courts seized upon was that he clearly wants to keep Muslims out of the country, right or wrong. The people voted for Donald Trump in part on that issue, but his intention is clear.
GORKA: So that must be the intention of the Obama order as well, to keep Muslims out of the nation.
CUOMO: Again, the language is different which is why it wasn't challenged in the courts the same way. It was about who is traveling in and out of there and the potential for those governments to let or even harbor bad guys.
GORKA: Your selective choice of fact is really quite telling, because you do know that we did this with Iraq under the Obama administration and the administration didn't even tell anybody. Why is that?
CUOMO: I don't know exactly about their not telling people. What I do know is that the United States administration worked very closely with Iraq in particular to build up its vetting capabilities, because of the unique nature of the threat there, and that's why there was the concern, when you guys included Iraq, and then you took Iraq off the list, which then raised questions about security intentions because obviously you have more concerns of people coming out of Iraq than the other countries.
GORKA: Let's get beyond your spin, let's talk about facts.
CUOMO: I don't think it's spin. I think that it's a little bit of logic that you're having a tough time dealing with, especially in light of what the president said this morning.
Continue reading the transcript here.