'Everybody can see it': CNN's Chris Cuomo fights Kellyanne Conway's denials that Trump mocked reporter
Chris Cuomo and Kellyanne Conway (CNN)

Kellyanne Conway spent Monday morning mopping up after Meryl Streep excoriated Donald Trump during a Golden Globes speech the night before.


Conway, who served as Trump's campaign manager, appeared on CNN's "New Day" and questioned whether celebrities should bring up politics during awards shows.

"They can say what they want, but they have to be held to account," Conway said.

Streep, who won a lifetime achievement award, criticized Trump -- without saying his name -- for mocking a disabled reporter who had angered him, but Conway echoed her boss and denied it.

"Why can't you give him the benefit of the doubt?" Conway said, and tried to change the subject to polls and analysts who predicted Trump would lose the election.

CNN's Chris Cuomo pointed out that video showed Trump imitating the speech and gestures of the disabled reporter, but Conway denied that's what the president-elect had done.

"You should give him the deference and respect -- if he says he was mocking the groveling, he said that again this morning," Conway said.

Cuomo reminded her that Trump's gestures clearly imitated "the guy's vulnerability," but Conway insisted he should take her boss at his word.

"You're saying you don't believe him," she said. "You're calling him a liar, and you shouldn't."

Cuomo accused her of trying to change the subject.

"That's like you're trying to scare me off the point," he said. "He's making a gesture that is so keenly tuned to what Serge (Kovaleski)'s vulnerabilities are."

Conway interrupted, saying he was "giving oxygen" to Streep's statements.

"Forget about Meryl Streep -- this happened before her," Cuomo said, as Conway repeatedly claimed the issue had been settled during the campaign. "If our kids did that, could you imagine what we would say to them?"

Conway said she would not bring her children into the discussion.

"I will," Cuomo said. "If my kid did something like that, it'd be a really tough day."

Conway again urged Cuomo to simply take Trump at his word instead of trusting what he'd seen on video.

"You have to listen to what the president has said about that," she said. "Why don't you believe him?"

She tried to change the subject to Hillary Clinton, saying CNN's own polling found 62 percent of Americans doubted her truthfulness.

"She was given the benefit of the doubt here constantly," Conway said, but declined Cuomo's request for specifics. "You can't give him the benefit of the doubt on this, when he's telling you what was in his heart? You always want to go by what's come out of his mouth, rather than look at what's in his heart."

An exasperated Cuomo tried to maintain control of the discussion.

"It's a gesture that he's making on video -- everybody can see it," he said. "I'm not judging the man, I'm judging what he did."

Conway responded by asking why he hadn't asked about Democratic threats to obstruct Trump's nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"They don't even know who they are yet, Chris," she said.