March 31, 2020

CNN's Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo argued last night about whether news organizations should continue their live coverage of Trump's daily coronavirus briefings.

"It's not political when it comes out of your mouth. When i say the exact same words you said, for some reason, it's political," Lemon said.

"I have said I don't think you should really listen to what he says, you should listen to what the experts say. I'm not actually sure, if you want to be honest, that we should carry that live. I think we should run snippets. I think we should do it afterwards and get the pertinent points to the American people. He's never, ever going to tell you the truth. Guess what he's going to do? If you ask a question that is a legitimate question, and if he doesn't like the question he's going to say whether it's -- whether you're being mean or not or whatever he wants to call it, he is going to say that is a mean, nasty question.

"Why? because he wants his base to think the media's being mean to him and they're attacking him. It is all a plot. It is all orchestrated, and if you can't see it, I don't know -- I don't know what you're looking at. So, you know, I -- it's obvious, it's transparent to me. This has become -- those press briefings have become his new "Apprentice." They've become his new rallies, and he treats the press and the media as if he's talking to the people in his rallies. It's the same thing. It's no different. It's just that the audience is not there."

Cuomo said he understood Lemon's frustration.

"Don't get me wrong, Chris, I'm not frustrated. I'm just pointing out the obvious. Pointing out the obvious, especially as a journalist, is not being political. If we don't do that then we are not doing our duty as journalists to point that out. That is our job, to point that out," Lemon said.

"I don't believe in censorship. I'm saying play all of it. I get what you're saying. I say play all of it. I want to hear everything he has to say. I want it all to be out there and I want him to be held to account because this isn't B.S. politics right now. It's not about nicknames. It's not what he can call another party. It's about living and dying and a lot of that is going to fall on what is done and not done by this government," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said Trump was "overwhelmed" by this task.

"He lied to the American people about it. He's playing catch-up. He's starting to learn. They're seeing it all in real time. People are living and diving on the basis of this response. And it's the best test for leadership we can have. I want people to see it all. We will question it all. We will show it all and then they will decide how they've come through it, and they're going to be deciding soon."

"I don't like wasting people's time and I don't like people being bamboozled. That's it. I know I'm going to get criticized for it. So be it," Lemon retorted.

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