CNN's Chris Cuomo hammers Kellyanne Conway over Trump's refusal to disavow 'birther' past
Kellyanne Conway (CNN)

Donald Trump's surrogates have a habit of going on TV without the benefit of knowing what their boss wants them to say on his behalf.


A few weeks ago his attorney, Michael Cohen, was unable to explain to CNN's Chris Cuomo how to tell whether his boss was just being sarcastic about whether President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had founded the Islamic State.

On Friday, Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, urged Cuomo to just ask the Republican presidential candidate whether Obama had been born in the United States or not.

Another campaign surrogate, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, said Thursday night on MSNBC that Trump -- who entered national politics by questioning Obama's birthplace -- now believed the president was born in Hawaii.

Cuomo asked Conway why Trump, who vowed to fund an investigation of Obama's birth certificate, has not come out and said he agrees the president is a natural-born U.S. citizen.

"You'll have to ask him," Conway said, before attempting to change the subject. "But I find the entire topic really amazing. I guess it's because the new CNN poll shows us beating (Clinton) by 3 points and winning by 20 points among independents."

Cuomo asked why Trump would risk that lead by refusing to comment on his "birther" past.

"You say, 'ask him' -- you're his campaign manager, that's why I'm asking you," Cuomo said. "You speak for him. Why won't he come out and just own that position, 'Yes, President Obama was born here, I was wrong to go with the birthers.'"

Conway offered her own birthplace as proof of ... something.

"So he believes President Obama was born here," Conway said. "I was born in Camden, by the way -- New Jersey. Uh, he was born in Hawaii. But the point is, what kind of president has he been? So he's born in the United States, no question to me he was born in the United States, but he's not been a particularly successful president, and that's what this campaign is about."

Cuomo then pressed Conway on Trump's appearance on RT, which is funded by the Russian government, to criticize United States foreign policy and defend Vladimir Putin from claims that he's trying to interfere with the presidential election.

"What is the virtue of criticizing the United States to a Russian audience?" Cuomo asked.

Conway insists Trump had no idea the interview with former CNN host Larry King would air on Russian state television.

"First of all, as you know, former CNN superstar Larry King has a podcast, and Mr. Trump went on his podcast -- nobody said it was going to be on Russian TV," Conway said. "But that aside, that aside, Chris, how is that criticizing the U.S.? Look at the polls -- does America not agree with Donald Trump that the Iraq War was a mistake, that we lost thousands of American lives, that we lost trillions of dollars, and I just want to honor the sacrifice of those families who will never have their loved ones back with them again. But most of America believes that that did not go well for us."