CNN's Chris Cuomo and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway got into a heated, 35-minute-long battle Monday about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting during the presidential election with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who claimed to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton. During the epic debate, Conway pulled out several of her tried-and-true spin strategies to try to change the topic, pushing for CNN to focus on more positive stories, taking digs at the network's "credibility," and even questioning why Cuomo was using the word "Russia" so often. "Aren't you the least bit reluctant, if not embarrassed, that you now talk about Russia more than you talk about America?" Conway said.
But Cuomo forged ahead, insisting that "this matters." "Was Russia trying to get to your campaign for purposes of affecting the election?" Cuomo asked, pressing Conway at one point on whether she cared that Russia was "trying to get inside" the Trump campaign.
Conway argued that no one had to "look very far to find damaging information on Hillary Clinton," but Cuomo discounted that as "beside the point." "It's a credibility issue as to whether or not he knew who he was meeting with," Cuomo said of Trump Jr. "I don't know what should be more troubling to you: that he would take a meeting not knowing who it was, but it was important enough to bring [President Trump's son-in-law] Jared [Kushner] or [President Trump's then-campaign chair Paul] Manafort, or that Donald Jr. would knowingly meet with someone with Kremlin connections on the basis of getting [opposition] research about Hillary Clinton. There are huge legal and ethical implications to that decision."
Watch the marathon of an interview below. Becca Stanek