CNN's Cuomo vs. St. Louis Home Defender: You Are The Face Of "White Resistance" To Black Lives Matter | Video | RealClearPolitics

CNN's Cuomo vs. St. Louis Home Defender: You Are The Face Of "White Resistance" To Black Lives Matter


CNN's Chris Cuomo immediately deemed the St. Louis couple that faced off with Black Lives Matters protesters encroaching on their property as a racial incident in a gotcha-style interview with Mark McCloskey, the husband, on Tuesday's edition of his CNN program.

"How do you feel about becoming the face of political resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement?" was Cuomo's first question.

"First of all, that’s a completely ridiculous statement," McCloskey responded. "I'm not the face of anything opposing to Black Lives Matters movement. I was a person scared for my life who was protecting my wife, my home, my hearth, my livelihood. I was a victim of a mob that came through the gate. I didn't care what color they were. I didn't care what their motivation was. I was frightened. I was assaulted and I was in imminent fear that they would run me over, kill me, burn my house."

McCloskey continued, "To give you context, on June 2nd, I watched the city burn, I watched the 7-11 get smashed in, looted and burned for 40 minutes on live television with nobody showing up to do anything. I realized at that time, we're on our own, when bad things happen, they unpredictably turn really bad, really fast. That same night, retired St. Louis Police Captain David Dorn was murdered. These things get very bad very quickly. And when those people came through the gate, when it was a mob, I didn't take the time to see their birth certificates or anything else, I was defending my life, my house, my wife and what I spent 32 years building there."

Throughout the interview, Cuomo continually doubted McCloskey's fear that his and his wife's lives were at risk and attempted to poke holes in how much of a security threat the protesters actually posed. He told Cuomo the reason why the protesters weren't able to get the steps of his home is not because they weren't going to loot it, it is because he and his wife brandished their weapons.

CUOMO: I understand what you said your rationale was, to be clear, did anything happen to you or your property?

MCCLOSKEY: Did anything happen? Yeah. My life has been ruined.

CUOMO: No, no, no. We'll get to that, Mr. McCloskey, I don't mean to cut you off. But I'm saying that night, did anything happen to you, your family, or your property?

MCCLOSKEY: Yeah, it's called social intimidation, it's called terrorism. Chris, what's the definition of terrorism? To use violence and intimidation to frighten the public, that's what happened to me. And that's the damage I suffered.

CUOMO: You were the one pointing a loaded weapon at a group of people who were walking past, looking for the mayor's house as a point of protest.

MCCLOSKEY: Chris, that's an entirely false concept. No single media outlet has ever mentioned the complete falsity of that statement. The mayor's house cannot be reached through my neighborhood. [St. Louis Mayor] Lyda Krewson lives up on a road called Lake and Washington. That's three blocks north and a half a mile west of my house.

Cuomo attempted to portray the mob that broke a private gate to gain entrance as peaceful demonstrators on their way to protest St. Louis mayor Lyda Krewson that happened upon McCloskey's property. McCloskey said the mayor lives more than a half a mile away and the mob was in a gated community that did not provide access to the mayor's house. McCloskey explains:

MCCLOSKEY: They were going through a private neighborhood for the intention of going through a private neighborhood, in my humble opinion, in retrospect. At the time I didn't have time to think about this. However, the leader of the entity called "Expect Us," that organized this, whatever it was, announced ahead of time that he does not want to have a peaceful protest. He wants to have it be as disruptive as possible. And when interviewed subsequently, he said, "I know it was illegal. I know it was a private neighborhood, but when you are doing protests of this nature, it's necessary to break the law to get your ends met." That's what was happening. Of court, I didn't know any of that at the time, all I knew was that hundreds of people screaming, shouting, angry, broke through the private gate. Everything inside that gate is private property.

Any pretense of protests as opposed to terrorism ended when they broke through that gate.

CUOMO: Terrorism is a strong word, counselor, don't you think? Let's stipulate for the point of this conversation that -- look, I let you make your points, let the rejoinders happen then you can go. You got counsel with you, you are safe, I promise. The idea that they broke the law, I give it to you. They went through a private gate. I'm sure have you video of it or somebody can prove that. I stipulate. They went through the gate.

But they're yelling, they're angry. They did not go up your steps. They didn't go to your house. They didn't touch you, they didn't try to enter your home or do anything to your kids, but you say you were assaulted. You're using a civil definition of that, which is that you had the apprehension that something bad was going to happen to you, but nothing did. But to call it terrorism when the people are there protesting how the community is treated by the police is a little bit reverse psychology at a minimum, is it not?

MCCLOSKEY: No you are absolutely wrong. The reason why they did not get up my steps was that my wife and I were there with weapons to keep them off our steps.

CUOMO: How do you know?

MCCLOSKEY: Because they were coming at us until I displayed the weapon and that stopped them.

Cuomo also called McCloskey the "face" of "white resistance" to the anti-Black Lives Matter movement even if he doesn't see it himself. Cuomo later demanded McCloskey to explain why President Donald Trump would retweet the video of the encounter and what is the "broader implication" of that.

"Why do you think he retweeted it?" Cuomo quizzed his guest.

"Maybe you should ask the president," McCloskey quipped.

McCloskey fought back against Cuomo's accusations and asserted he was in his right to defend his property from the threat of "terrorism" that the mob of several hundred people presented. McCloskey called out the hypocrisy for the meaning of the demonstration that came to his front door and said the treatment from Cuomo is why he was reluctant to come on the CNN host's show.

MCCLOSKEY: I don't have any idea why the president retweeted it. I've not seen the retweet. I think you ought to ask the president... I was reluctant to come on your show for a similar reason. Let me say this you said it was protesting police brutality. That's absolutely inaccurate. The announced purpose for this event was to ask the mayor, Lyda Krewson, whose own husband was murdered in her driveway in that same house years ago in front of her around her kids, okay. That's how undangerous these things are.

The alleged purpose of this event was to ask her to resign for doxing protesters, but guess what, have I been doxxed? Have those have been people walking down my street screaming death threats and threatening to burn my house and kill my dogs and what rooms in my house they were going to live in after they killed me, do you think them distributing my information all over the Western hemisphere is different than what they're asking the mayor to resign for doing? This hypocrisy is obvious nonsense.

The CNN host told McCloskey he has been "weaponized for political means" and whether he knows it or not he is now the "face of white resistance."

"I don't like that you have been weaponized for political means," Cuomo told his guest. "I'm not saying that you weren't within your rights to do what you were doing. That will be judged by the system. That's not why I'm having you on the show as I said at the top. And you said I didn't want to come on the show."

"Listen, I think I'm fair," Cuomo claimed. "I'm not going to use you as a pawn to advance my own agenda, like the show you went on (FNC's Tucker Carlson Tonight), which is where somebody wants people to see Black Lives Matter as inimical to the American cause. I don't make those kinds of judgments for people."

"But the guy who walked past your house on a looping piece of video had hands up, don't shoot on this, the stated purpose of this demonstration and that's all we can go on is that they didn't like that the mayor outed or as you say doxed people who were for defunding the police. You can like that or not like that. But you have been used and politically weaponized as a face of white resistance to that movement. And that's why I asked you that, not because that's how you see yourself. But that's how you are being seen. I wanted to give you a chance with counsel to respond to that. I don't see that as an unfair question."

CUOMO: You were within your rights, it should be ajudged as such. I wanted to talk to you about the broader implication. I wanted to talk about the horrible picture of what's going on in America right now. To me it's not about what's right and wrong in a court of law, it's what we have right and wrong about how we treat each other. That's why the president tweeted this tweet, Mr. Watkins, you know it, and Mr. McCloskey, you know it. He retweeted it because he liked the image of white resistance to this movement and I'm not saying that was fair to you. But we know that's why he did it. that's why he deleted it. I wanted you to speak for yourself.

MARK MCCLOSKEY: I'm glad you are a mind reader. Because no one else thinks you are.

CUOMO: Oh, in fact, he didn't delete it. Good, makes my point.


CUOMO: You didn't say that it was said to me for me. I'm thinking about something else where someone was screaming white power in a video that the president retweeted. He deleted that one. He didn't delete the one of you. I just wanted to give you a chance to speak about it. We both know you don't have to be a mindreader to assess a pattern. You're not a mind reader either.

Also during the interview, Cuomo took a shot at FOX News host Tucker Carlson, who interviewed Mr. McCloskey an hour before his appearance on CNN:

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