CNN Host To Gorka: ‘Facts Are Not Your Friend’ When It Comes To Travel Ban

CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday pressed White House aide Sebastian Gorka on the contradictions between official statements about President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers from several majority-Muslim countries and the President’s own impromptu statements on the ban.

“You guys played games about it and said it’s not a ban,” Cuomo, the co-host of “New Day,” told Gorka. “And then the President decides to be honest about it this morning. That is spin. You are the purveyor of spin, because that was your message, that it wasn’t a ban, and it was untrue. That’s why I’m asking you.”

In response, Gorka asked whether President Barack Obama “was also a purveyor of spin.”

“The executive order is based upon the Obama White House analysis of the seven nations of greatest concern for immigration to America,” he said. “Is he a purveyor of spin, Chris?”

“Well, that’s an interesting question,” Cuomo said.

“It is, isn’t it? Isn’t it?” Gorka interjected.

“And while I like that you must get away from President Trump and his policies as quickly as possible, and go to the bromide of blame Obama for everything,” Cuomo went on. “However, the facts are not your friend here.”

He said the Obama-era order “was about travel to those countries.”

“Your order is about Muslims, about targeting Muslims and keeping them out, and allowing those who are not Muslims a carve-out to come in,” Cuomo said.

Gorka’s citation of Obama’s policy in defense of Trump’s order rang hollow in light of remarks he made the same morning on “Fox and Friends” blaming the Obama administration for “unbelievable shortsighted policies” and a “broken” system.

Trump’s administration has turned away from describing the order as a “ban” in the wake of court rulings blocking it from implementation, though the President has made no such attempt. On Saturday, he responded to an attack in London that killed seven people and wounded dozens more by tweeting about “the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

On Monday, Trump lashed out at his own Justice Department for submitting a “watered down, politically correct” version of the order.

“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” he tweeted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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