In the final moments of his first primetime hour on Monday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo delivered a sharp rebuke of the Trump administration’s decision not to lower flags to half-mast in memory of the five journalists killed in last week’s mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.
Cuomo began by noting that the shooting not only took lives and “shattered families” but also “added another layer of shame on all lawmakers for not doing something to stop the damn shootings.” As the host put it, recent mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland “warranted” flags being lowered outside federal building, so why not this one?
“I’m afraid I know the answer,” Cuomo said. “And it’s because President Trump doesn’t like the media.”
Admitting that an explanation like that one “sounds extraordinarily petty and callous,” Cuomo pointed out that Trump mocked Sen. John McCain for getting captured in Vietnam and had nothing negative to say about a staffer who mocked McCain’s terminal illness earlier this year. “So Trump, unfortunately, is entirely capable of disrespecting people, no matter their predicament, if it suits him or his interests.”
“Yes, Trump did say he respects journalists after the mass murder, but why would you believe that?” Cuomo asked, referring to the president’s remarks on Friday. “Why would you believe he’s not lying again? I don't have time to play all the attacks on the media, you know the truth. And now you know that even if they get murdered, the president won’t respect the media appropriately.”
Cuomo asserted that Trump chose not to order those flags lowered “because the families of the dead and the dead themselves don’t matter to Trump as much as his playing political favorites.”