Kellyanne Conway let CNN’s Chris Cuomo have it when he brought up climate change in an interview about Hurricane Harvey disaster relief.
The counselor to President Trump and the CNN anchor added to their ongoing list of contentious interviews as they sparred on congressional approval for funding a relief package following Harvey and the damage it wrought, especially in Texas where it made its first landfall as a category 4 hurricane last week.
“One of the themes that’s coming out of this, and it’s not a discussion just to have now, but certainly in the weeks and months as we move forward, is whether or not what happened in Harvey and why it’s happening and why these storms happen open up a discussion about the role of climate change,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
“Is the president, is the administration, open to that conversation?” he asked Conway.
“Chris, we’re trying to help the people whose lives are literally underwater, and you want to have a conversation about climate change?” she replied, with seeming disgust.
“I mean, that is — I’m not going to engage in that right now,” she added, rolling her eyes. “I work for a president and a vice president and a country that is very focused on helping the millions of affected Texans and, God forbid Louisianans, if it ends up.”
Cuomo did not get it, though, and pressed Conway, asking her to “imagine” if scientists could find out why there are these storms and how their number can be reduced.
“It’s a question about whether or not the administration is open. It seems the answer is no,” he said.
“No, I didn’t say that, Chris, you don’t need to put words in my mouth,” Conway shot back.
“You berated me for asking the question and made it sound like I don’t care about the situation,” Cuomo complained.
Conway clarified that she was simply “exposing the irony” of the conversation.
“Here’s the deal: you play amateur climatologist tonight and I’ll play professional helper to those in need.” Conway said, elaborating on the administration’s relief efforts and reaching out to individuals and groups who can assist flood and storm victims.
“I’m going to focus on them for the in the short-term, perhaps the long-term, because I literally see people, I see pregnant women, including on your channel, who are in need, who say they’re shivering or their kids or hungry,” she said, perhaps referring to the Houston mother who unloaded on a CNN reporter on live television.
“That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what we’re going to do here,” Conway said.
“Good. You should,” Cuomo replied. “But it doesn’t mean you do that to the exclusion of the question of why storms happen. At some point, that could be part of the conversation.”
“I’ll come back to talk about that,” Conway promised.
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