CNN's Chris Cuomo vs. Corey Lewandowski on Acosta: Trump Disrespects Anyone He Doesn't Like


CNN: After the White House issued a statement that said reporters have to practice a certain "decorum" during press conferences, CNN's Chris Cuomo and ex-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski discuss whether "decorum" applies to the President.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Turns out President Trump can not block CNN or any journalist from the White House simply because he doesn't like the questions. A federal judge Trump appointed sided with freedom today. Our chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta is now back in and that press room breathed a sigh of relief I would assume in many instances because they now know something certain about their own ability to engage. But the President isn't backing down. What happens next? Let's bring

in Corey Lewandowski. It's good to have you here, former Trump Campaign Manager. Certainly understand the head and the intentions of the President and co-author of Trump's enemies. There should have been a whole chapter on me in that book given by what I hear from you guys, but nothing.

All right, good to have you Corey, as always. Let me ask you.


CUOMO: Do you think the President gets it after the rolling today? Because it didn't seem so from what I heard, it didn't feel so from what Sarah Sanders tried to do in twisting the judge's ruling.

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think the President absolutely understands what the judge said, and the judge said that this was not an issue of the first amendment, to be clear. This was an issue of due process and it's my understanding -- and I'm not an attorney -- the judge reissue the hard pass press credential to the CNN correspondent on the fact that he was not give an due process for that removal. And so what the White House has said they're going to do is he going to put a series of policies and procedures in place, which will dictate what the rules are in the press room. That doesn't mean you can't ask questions, that doesn't mean you have to only ask one question at a time but it does mean there will be a process in place and if you don't follow that process then they will have the opportunity for the recourse of removing the press pass.

CUOMO: Maybe.

LEWANDOWSKI: What's very important, Chris --

CUOMO: Maybe.

LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, but what's very, very important tonight CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett, who I have great respect for, said there is no absolute path for the free press just to have no decorum in the room. And this man has covered the White House for a long time and he said that he believes decorum should take place in the press room.

CUOMO: Yes. Starts at the top, my friend. Starts at the top. This President has made a practice of disrespecting anyone he doesn't like. There's no one in that press room who comes close to addressing the President of the United States the way he addresses anyone he doesn't like. How sad, Corey, that the press has to be mindful not to play down to the standard of the President of the United States? And just to be clear on the law because as you know I am a lawyer. The judge didn't say this isn't about the first amendment, he didn't rule on the first amendment but he said CNN is likely to win on the arguments which are pretty clear, we are on the side of expansiveness to the first amendment, as frustrating that has may be sometimes.

He ruled on the Fifth Amendment because this was a TRO and there was no process. The President violated two amendments in my opinion here, one was ruled on today but the bigger point is the one you are making. Decorum. The President says we should have decorum when in the last two weeks he's gone after black female journalists, he's gone after White journalist, he has gone after anybody he doesn't like, he calls them the ugliest names in the world and now you'll say that Major Garrett from CBS says there should be no absolute free pass? Nobody said there should be but there shouldn't be for the President, either, Corey. Shouldn't he act better than he does?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, Chris, what I think you have to remember is the President has no obligation to hold a press conference. He doesn't no obligation to call on individuals but when you start a question to the President with "I'm going to challenge you" which is how Jim started the question.


LEWANDOWSKI: They asked him to hand the microphone off. Look, Jim can ask any question, has had the opportunity to ask the President hundreds of questions over the course of the last three or four years.

CUOMO: Right.

LEWANDOWSKI: This President answers hard questions.

CUOMO: Sometimes. Often not. Won't come on here.

LEWANDOWSKI: These questions and all questions can be asked in a manner which is at least respectful to the office of the President.

CUOMO: But how can you talk about Jim Acosta or anyone without first manning up and saying, look, the President's got to change the way he speaks. I'm going to challenge you is a triggering phrase when the President of the United States says you're a nasty person. You're a bad person, you're the enemy of the people. Come on, Corey, it's not even a close call. You know it.

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, here's the problem. The media unfortunately has gone from reporting the news to making the news. They inject their own opinions on matter as they ask questions so that's not what it's supposed to be.

CUOMO: Corey, look, the problem is there are lots of problems but you'll only own some of them that work for you. You can't say that the President isn't the one that is most violative of any sense of decency and decorum when it comes to our media culture. You can't say it.

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, let me say this --

CUOMO: You've never heard a reporter say anything disrespectful to the President's face. You've never heard a reporter say to him "you're a bum. You're a liar. I think you're evil." They would never say that. But he would.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, I think that it would serve both parties, both the press and the President and his administration very well to take these press conferences off television and have real discussions, real dialogue and real issues being resolve so that you're not on camera, neither the reporters or the press secretary, who's ever giving the briefings so they can report exactly what was transpiring but I don't know why there would be pushback of taking those off television because --

CUOMO: I think the more transparency the better. I think he should have to come on all these shows. I think he should make the decision and say all right, fine, Cuomo want to test, I'm going to come on. I'm going to give that audience its respect. You know, I think a lot of things should happen. All we can control is what has to happen and that's what the law is about and the law was clear here, the President can't pull a pass because he doesn't like what you're asking him. He'd like to. He said it again too, I'm going to make up rules and if he misbehaves we'll throw him out. No, it's not going to happen. You don't get to judge behavior that way. The rule for the secret service is whether or not you're a security risk, not that you are a risk to his political health.

LEWANDOWSKI: But Chris it's too bad that we're in a day and age where we have to put specific rules in place so that we have decorum in the press room.

CUOMO: We don't have to. He wants to. Well, because he pulled the press pass if somebody that he didn't like.

LEWANDOWSKI: You can not have a free-for-all. Chris --

CUOMO: It's a free-for-all, Corey, it's one guy.

LEWANDOWSKI: You cannot have a free-for-all. You can't do that.

CUOMO: It's one guy.

LEWANDOWSKI: There's one guy who refused to give up a microphone.

CUOMO: He was asking a question and you sent the intern to take the microphone. You can criticize how he handled it or not but to pull his pass? You pull his pass?

LEWANDOWSKI: OK, I'm not disagreeing with you. But what I'm telling you is --

CUOMO: I mean, look, the judge said it was wrong.

LEWANDOWSKI: The judge said that he was not given due process and the judge ruled he --

CUOMO: It was unconstitutional.

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, he's been reinstated into the press pool. He has now has pass back to the White House --

CUOMO: I know but why did it take a court of law for the President to do the right thing? Why did the White House have to be told by a judge don't use InfoWars B.S. with America. Don't use their tapes, don't use their doctored tapes.

LEWANDOWSKI: There are all kinds of rules to get into the White House, you have to --

CUOMO: Yes, security rules, not promise to say what the President wants. Let me ask you something else while I have you.

LEWANDOWSKI: Hey, look, let's be clear -- hold on, Chris, let's just be clear.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something else.

LEWANDOWSKI: Jim was not banned from the White House. He was banned from coming in without an escort, he was --

CUOMO: Whatever. He wasn't allowed to do the job the way he was doing it before. Let's put that to the side --

LEWANDOWSKI: Of course, he could, as long as he had an escort.

CUOMO: Yes, he couldn't get into the main room that's what it is. He doesn't need an escort. He's a journalist, he goes in, he gets his badge like everybody else, he does his job. You like it, fine, you don't like it, too bad, that's freedom of the press.

Let me something though, the President was saying today, I did all the answers to the question myself, lawyer didn't need to help, it's all me. They were easy. Why doesn't he hand them in?

LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I think the President has met with his legal team. They've gone through and I'm sure the President did answer the questions himself.

CUOMO: Why don't they hand them in to Mueller?

LEWANDOWSKI: Let me tell you -- look, I've already said I'm not an attorney. But let me give my political advice.

CUOMO: You don't have to be one.

LEWANDOWSKI: I see absolutely no benefit of the President having a conversation with Bob Mueller, submitting questions. He's gone above and beyond what he's had to do.

CUOMO: He has not.

LEWANDOWSKI: And he's willing to submit the questions because he know there is has been no collusion. There is no collusion --

CUOMO: Then hand the questions -- hand the answers in.

LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, Chris, let's find out what the I.G. says as they're going through --

CUOMO: What I.G.? LEWANDOWSKI: What the FBI did, the Department of Justice Inspector General who said that Andy McCabe and Jim Comey and Peter Strzok and Lisa Page all had a plan.

CUOMO: They already issued their report.

LEWANDOWSKI: That's not true.

CUOMO: What are you talking about? The I.G. came out with a report after they review the FBI.

LEWANDOWSKI: Part of it. Part of that report is done. The criminal referral for Andy McCabe has not been followed up on.

CUOMO: That's true.

LEWANDOWSKI: James Comey lying to Congress, called perjury hasn't been followed up on. Look, as it relates to Bob Mueller, this President said, you can continue your investigation. He's done nothing to prevent it from happening, Rod Rosenstein --

CUOMO: If he wants to continue --

LEWANDOWSKI: -- has overseeing that until the new I.G. is there.

CUOMO: Id he wants to continue, if he wants it to, he should comply and he should hand in the questions and we'll see what happens next.

Corey Lewandowski, thank you for answering the questions tonight on Cuomo Prime Time.


CUOMO: As always, I appreciate it. Have a good weekend.

LEWANDOWSKI: Have a good night.

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