A Monday morning interview with Republican Donald Trump went so wildly off the rails after CNN’s Chris Cuomo started in on the billionaire’s “hot and heavy” attacks on Hillary Clinton that the anchor had to restart the segment.
Cuomo immediately asked about Trump’s attacks last week on Democrat Hillary Clinton, who he called “a total enabler” of her husband’s sexual impropriety.
“We need to talk policy. We need to talk the state of play within your own party, but you have commanded a different headline that needs to be addressed,” Cuomo began the phone interview.
He said CNN’s panel of independent voters see the attack “as a distraction, as hypocritical coming from you, and mostly they see it as potential proof you may have no real ideas to offer as president. What your thinking on this line of attack?”
Trump was clearly taken aback.
“Well, this is a nice way to start off the interview. First of all, you should congratulate me for having won the race,” he said. “I thought, you know, at least there would be a small congratulations, but I’m not surprised with CNN, because that’s the way they treat Trump. It’s the, you know, they call it the Clinton network and I believe that. So, you know –”
“Wait. Hold on. Mr. Trump, I did congratulate you the last time we spoke. I said congratulations on winning the big race,” Cuomo responded.
“Thank you very much. So warm and so well-felt,” Trump said sarcastically.
Cuomo tried to get the segment back on track.
“No, no, no, no. Hold on. Get this off on the right foot. I’m trying to address – “ he said.
“You’re starting out with a question, we haven’t spoken, last week, towards the end, I was essentially the nominee of the party and you start off with this question which is not surprising, because, I understand CNN perhaps a lot better than you do,” Trump replied.
“OK, OK. You know what? You’re right. Sometimes it’s good to restart,” Cuomo said. You are going to be your party’s nominee by all accounts. You are going to carry the standard for this party. You have said once you get into the general, people will see what you have to offer. The first thing you’ve come out with hot and heavy out of the box are attacks on Hillary Clinton.”
Trump responded that he led with trade, not with attacks on Clinton, accusing Cuomo of not paying enough attention.
Watch the exchange, captured by TPM: