CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh engaged in a fiery, off-the-rails, and at-times personally insulting clash over the coronavirus pandemic. The highlight — or nadir — of which involved Murtaugh holding up a printed-out screenshot of the infamous, massive Q-Tip prop Cuomo used to mock his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The segment began with Cuomo challenging Murtaugh over President Donald Trump losing focus on the pandemic to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and things got heated almost immediately after Murtaugh offered a lengthy defense of the president.
“Tim, I let you speak. Now you do the same or this will be really short. I promise you that,” Cuomo shot back before offering a point-by-point rebuttal to Murtaugh’s argument.
But when Murtaugh broke in and brought up Cuomo’s brother, the wheels really started to come off.
“Your own brother, the governor of New York, said that every time he turned to the administration, the federal government was there with everything,” Murtaugh said.
“He did not say that. And that is not what happened,” Cuomo insisted, as the pair began to talk over each other constantly.
“Yes, he absolutely did.” Murtaugh insisted.
“No,” Cuomo said, pushing back. “He said I went to the federal government. They helped me with things. They did not help me with everything. They’re still not helping.”
“Go ahead, My brother what?” Cuomo added, giving Murtaugh a chance to speak.
“Your brother predicted a ventilator shortage. He said he needed 40,000 ventilators or people would die. That shortage never materialized…” Murtaugh pointed out.
“True,” Cuomo conceded.
“Because the president engaged the private sector and the government to create the equipment, the PPE, the gowns, the gloves and the ventilators that we needed,” Murtaugh claimed. “Listen, Chris, I find it curious, speaking of your brother, you’re going to ask me these self-righteous questions and talk about people taking it seriously.”
“Does this look like the couple of guys taking it seriously,” Murtaugh then added, holding up the picture of the Cuomo’s yukking it up over the CNN host’s prop joke. “You had your brother on for the Cuomo brother comedy hour, joking about the size of the Q-tip you would need for his nose for the size of the test. Does this look like someone who is taking it seriously?”
“Yeah, I did, it was funny as hell,” Cuomo shot back, interrupting.
After more crosstalk, the CNN host unleashed on Murtaugh for bringing up the embarrassing moment.
“Tim, I’m telling you. I will cut you off. You are not going to flood the zone on this show,” Cuomo warned. “You took your swing. You missed. That’s the best you got, is that my brother didn’t take Covid seriously? Are you kidding yourself?”
Minutes later, Murtaugh turned to personally attack Cuomo again, bringing up reports that the host had been caught violating mask guidelines in his own apartment building.
“I’m about a president sending the right message and giving states what they need to fight a pandemic,” Cuomo declared.
“Then why did you get reprimanded in your own apartment building?” Murtaugh pressed.
“Because I did the wrong thing,” Cuomo conceded.
“Why did you get reprimanded from your apartment building for not wearing a mask? We know you broke quarantine…”
“Because I did the wrong thing…I never broke quarantine,” Cuomo insisted.
“Everyone knows you broke it.”
“I did not,” Cuomo insisted as the two stepped over each other’s words.
“And then you came home and you pretended to rise up from your basement like Lazarus.”
“You want to mock my getting sick, you can,” Cuomo shot back.
“I’m not mocking your getting sick.”
“Of course you are. Of course you are. I never broke quarantine and you know it,” Cuomo fired back.
After several more minutes of near unintelligible arguing, Cuomo wound up the segment with a nod to the looming Election Day.
” I respect your effort because that’s the game. You want to go at Andrew, his legacy will stand for it was, his action will be judged at the ballot box,” Cuomo said. “I will own any mistake I make because I’m not this president and I’m not in power. I’ll tell you what, brother, in seven days we’ll see whether people think he did the right thing on this pandemic.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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