‘It’s strained, my friend — trust me’: Chris Cuomo calls BS Trump surrogate’s ‘irrational’ Charlottesville excuses
In a Wednesday “New Day” discussion between Symone Sanders and Paris Dennard, host Chris Cuomo refused to let the conservative commentator claim Trump wasn’t defending the Nazis and white supremacists last week.
Cuomo began the discussion honing in on President Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday in which he alleged the media was twisting his words surrounding the Charlottesville, Virginia violence. Trump claimed that he never equated Nazis and peaceful protesters with each other. After playing a clip of Trump’s Tuesday speech, Cuomo set it side-by-side with the Charlottesville speech the week prior, in which Trump used the phrase “both sides” to proport peaceful protesters were equal to the Nazis and white supremacists.
Dennard swore that Cuomo was already doing exactly what Trump talked about in Phoenix by twisting his words. Cuomo wasn’t having it. He pointed to Trump’s phrasing in Phoenix and asked if the “both sides” line was how he really felt, then why did he leave it out Tuesday.
“He took it out, out of convenience,” Cuomo said. “Can you defend that?”
Dennard said that he wasn’t there to defend Trump other than to clarify that Trump meant that he’d denounced the Nazis and white supremacists several times before, only to have the media claim it wasn’t enough.
“What the president was saying was the media and liberals are not giving me credit for actually what I said and how many times I said it,” Dennard said. “So, what he did was remind the media and remind everyone at that rally in Phoenix, where I’m from exactly what he said as it relates to condemning neo-Nazis, racist individuals that are part of the white supremacy movement or the KKK. So, he denounced all of those individuals on each occasion. So, that was the point, not that he was taken out of context, but the fact that he did say it.”
Again, Cuomo called it nonsense, saying that context was everything.
“That’s not only non-responsive, but irrational,” Cuomo said. “He left out the ‘many sides’ part. That’s why he left the — you can’t make the point that Paris is straining to make.”
“I’m not straining,” Dennard countered.
“It’s strained, my friend, trust me,” Cuomo shot back.
“Don’t put words in my mouth,” Dennard said.
“I’m not putting words in your mouth,” Cuomo replied. “I’m trying to tell you the truth. The truth is he left the words out last night that created the moral ambiguity, and you know that. Why you’re not owning it, I don’t know.”
“He said there was no moral equivalency to anything. He said that,” Dennard told Cuomo.
“He said it, he just happens to be wrong,” Cuomo countered.
“When Donald Trump stood up in front of the American people last weekend and equated — that’s what many of us thought he did — equated the white supremacists to the other protesters who were at this rally to protest the white supremacists, that set off a firestorm,” Sanders explained.
She went on to say that Trump was attempting to rewrite history after such a colossal failure.
“Donald Trump is not new to this game of the media,” she continued. “Donald Trump knows how this works, and this is his attempt to speak directly to his, quote-unquote base and vilify the media. This is dangerous, dangerous territory. The president is not doing himself any favors here. He has to own this thing and continue to let the American people and the world really know that he understands that Charlottesville was an egregious attack and it had a lot more to do with more than just protests. This was a white supremacist rally that happened in America where someone died via ISIS-styled tactics. Donald Trump is clearly identifying with white supremacists here. I’m not sure why.”
Dennard echoed Trump’s words saying that he did denounce the Nazis and white supremacists several times but that the media keeps moving the goalposts and that it is never enough.
“What about the good people who were marching with the KKK? You forgot them, Paris,” Cuomo asked, quoting Trump’s words. “How come he didn’t mention them last night? Those good people, you know, the ones who didn’t exist? What about them?”
Dennard tried to cite the “good people” being Heather Heyer but Cuomo cut in to say that no one disputes Heyer is a good person, but that wasn’t who Trump was talking about.
“Don’t let those words be in your mouth,” Cuomo said, floored. “She was there protesting against bigotry. He was saying there were good people fighting to keep the statues up. He was saying there were good people with the KKK. Heather Heyer was on the other side, fighting against the Nazis. She was part of the ‘many sides’ problem that the president drew up. Don’t put her in the good people. That’s not who he was talking about, Paris.”
Dennard said that he wasn’t speaking for Trump he was only speaking for himself that Heyer was a “good person.” Cuomo shook his head saying that wasn’t what the discussion was about. Trump said that there were “good people” there marching with the Nazis and only there because they supported the statue.
Watch the Dennard go down in flames below: