CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on Thursday called his mother on live TV to debunk a Trump claim. Cable news, everyone!
Ahead of diplomat David Holmes' testimony that he overheard President Donald Trump’s July 26 phone call with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, Trump took to Twitter to claim that it was impossible to overhear a full conversation if it wasn’t on speakerphone.
And during a break in impeachment testimony on Thursday, Cuomo attempted to give a live on-air demonstration to debunk the president’s assertion. And it completely backfired on him.
“Very interesting theory from our president that he has really good hearing, some would say, the best hearing ever, and he has never been able to hear a phone call when it wasn’t on speakerphone from anybody,” the CNN anchor declared. “So, let’s just play with that for a second.”
Cuomo went on to dial-up his mother on his cell phone, asking her: “Mom, can you hear me?” CNN viewers, however, heard nothing in response.
Holding the phone up next to his colleague Dana Bash, Cuomo then requested that his mother say hello to the CNN correspondent. While there was once again silence, Bash awkwardly glanced at the camera as Cuomo fumbled with his phone.
After eventually switching it to speakerphone, Cuomo once again asked his mother if she could hear him, finally prompting a response the audience could hear. Changing the phone back to normal mode, he then wanted his mom to say hello to Bash. As Bash attempted to hold a conversation with Mrs. Cuomo, CNN viewers again heard nothing on the other end of the call.
“I can’t hear your mother, Chris,” pro-Trump CNN pundit David Urban gleefully exclaimed. “I’m sitting across the table.”
Cuomo, meanwhile, attempted to save the segment by saying the phone was “two feet away” from Dana and she could hear his mother. CNN contributor John Dean also speculated that it is possible Sondland may have accidentally hit speaker on his phone during his call with Trump.
“He said he had an earpiece in and he was moving the earpiece,” Cuomo replied. “Earpiece is a magnifier sound. I was giving the president the best benefit of his own analysis, which I would probably argue is nothing more than a distraction to try to undermine actual direct testimony.”
“This iPhone, without an earpiece, on regular phone mode, trying it live, literally on live TV, Dana could hear my mother,” the CNN host concluded. “I’m just happy she didn’t take me down a couple of notches.”