Appearing on CNN Friday morning, the former co-chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign in Michigan ran into a buzzsaw when host Chris Cuomo put her on the spot and pushed her to directly address the president on national TV and tell him to stop attacking women.
Instead, Lena Epstein — who is running against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) for one of Michigan’s two Senate seats — accused Cuomo of pressuring her to say something she is “not willing to say.”
After Epstein attempted a defense of Trump’s “facelift” tweets, attacking the media for being unfair to Trump and wishing the whole “twitter conversation” would go away for America’s sake, host Cuomo pressed her to address Trump.
“You have no message for the president of the United States, this isn’t about a twitter conversation so don’t cheapen it that way,” Cuomo lectured Epstein. “This is about the nature and content of the words that the president of the United States uses for his critics and often his allies. It’s not about the forum — this isn’t about Twitter versus Instagram. This is about what he says. You have a message for the American people, you have no message for the president of the United States? Do you endorse everything he said about Mika Brzezinski? Do you agree with what he said?”
“I would like the entire Twitter banter to go away” Epstein replied only to have Cuomo cut her off.
“Of course you would, because it’s hurtful to someone you want to support!” the CNN host shot back. “If you want to be a leader, you need to step up. Do you endorse what he said about Mika Brzezinski?”
“I would never, ever want one human being to disparage another human being,” Epstein parried.
“Then say what the president said was wrong about Mika Brzezinski,” Cuomo pushed.
“You’re trying to pressure me to say something not willing to say,” the Republican replied.
“Why not?” Cuomo asked. “If you want to be a leader and you want to call out what’s wrong, do it. Say it.”
‘I’m saying the whole conversation is wrong,” Epstein offered. “We need to get back to the issues that Americans and your viewers care about.”
“How our president treats other human beings especially women is a meaningful issue,” Cuomo stated. “If the media is wrong, it should be called out.”
“You know what? there’s one president and there’s a lot of media. There’s one person at the top of the chain. There’s one ultimate leader and there’s a lot of media. You really want to put him on equal footing with Mika Brzezinski in terms of whose words matter more? Come on,” he concluded.
Watch the video below via CNN: