Donald Trump’s interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo on Monday, May 9, was hostile from the very beginning. Cuomo started the interview by skipping small talk and announcing that the two “need to talk policy” and the “state of play within your own party.”
Cuomo also went after Trump for his attacks on Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“You are attacking Hillary Clinton for the sexual past and indiscretions of her husband, calling her an enabler. We have a panel of independent voters. They are smart as heck, and most of them don’t like it. They see it as a distraction. They see it as hypocritical coming from you, and they mostly see it as potential proof that you may have no real ideas to offer as president. What is your thinking on this line of attack?” Cuomo said.
Trump didn’t appreciate the lack of small talk and let his disapproval be known—first by chiding Cuomo for not congratulating him on the Republican nomination. Then broadly attacking the network.
“Well, this is a nice way to start off the interview,” Trump said. “First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race. I thought, you know, at least there would be a small congratulations, but I’m not surprised with CNN because that’s the way they treat Trump. It’s the, you know, they call it the Clinton Network, and I believe that.”
Trump is possibly referring to Bernie Sanders supporters when suggesting who named it the “Clinton Network.” Sanders supporters have been active on Twitter in criticizing CNN’s coverage of the Democratic primaries.
— Ricardo Lamadrid (@rikilamadrid) February 28, 2016
As The Washington Post points out, this isn’t the first time that the Clintons have been linked to CNN—in the 1990s and early 2000s Texas Senator Tom Delay called it both the “Clinton News Network” and the “Communist News Network.”
This is also not the first time that Trump has had problems with the news network. In July, Trump went after CNN’s Anderson Cooper for highlighting polls that put him in a negative light, and ignoring polls that put him in a positive light.
Trump continued his criticism of CNN, claiming to know more about the network than Cuomo.
“You’re starting off with a question. We haven’t spoken. Last week, towards the end, I was the—essentially the nominee of the party, and you start off with this question, which is not surprising because—I understand CNN perhaps a lot better than you do,” Trump said.
The questions continued, first with Trump’s recent critique of Bill Clinton’s infidelities and Hillary’s role as “enabler”—as he put it at a rally—as well as linking Clinton with the NAFTA trade deal, which Trump has claimed was a “one of the worst deals” and led to the loss of jobs.
Cuomo pointed out that former President George H.W. Bush was the president who signed the NAFTA bill, but Trump was not dissuaded, insisting it was a “Clinton bill.”
NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a treaty agreed on by the United States, Canada, and Mexico; it was signed on December 17, 1992 by then President George H. W. Bush, but didn’t go into effect until January 1, 1994.