Chris Cuomo and Kellyanne Conway have a history.
The pair, known for their marathon interviews on CNN, were at it again Wednesday night, spending more than 20 minutes going back and forth in a contentious segment that began with a discussion of how President Trump will try to avoid the same pitfalls that plagued the Obama administration’s efforts to pass a relief bill after Superstorm Sandy.
But it was Cuomo’s seemingly innocuous comment about the role of climate change in 100-year storms like the one currently battering Texas that really infuriated Conway.
“One of the themes that's coming out of this, and it's not a discussion just to have now, but certainly in the weeks and months as we move forward, is whether or not what happened in Harvey and why it's happening and why these storms happen open up a discussion about the role of climate change,” Cuomo said, a bit tentatively. “Is the president, is the administration, open to that conversation?”
With a look of disgust on her face, Conway replied, “Chris, we're trying to help the people whose lives are literally underwater, and you want to have a conversation about climate change?” Rolling her eyes, she added, “I mean, that is — I’m not going to engage in that right now.”
When Cuomo said he “assumed” that meant the answer to his question was no, Conway said, “No, I didn't say that, Chris, you don't need to put words in my mouth.”
Then why, he replied, did she “berate” him for even asking the question, making it seem as though he didn’t care about the victims.
In turn, Conway said she was simply “exposing the irony” of the conversation and accused Cuomo of playing “amateur climatologist” while she said she would play “professional helper of those in need.”
She then added, “I'm going to focus on them for the in the short-term, perhaps the long-term, because I literally see people, I see pregnant women, including on your channel, who are in need, who say they're shivering or their kids or hungry,” perhaps in reference to the Houston mother whose confrontation with a CNN reporter went viral this week.
“Good, you should,” Cuomo said. “But it doesn't mean you do that to the exclusion to the question of why storms happen. At some point, that could be part of the conversation.”
Given the fact that the president is reluctant to even admit that he believes climate change is real, Cuomo shouldn’t hold his breath.