‘You are disgusting tonight’: Cuomo allows Van Jones to repeat ‘No…No…No…No…’ over conservative guest the entire segment

CNN’s Chris Cuomo seemed to lose all control of his panel guests as Van Jones and Steve Cortes erupted in a war of words over the 1989 Central Park Five case.

During “Cuomo Prime Time,” Jones, a former Obama White House special adviser, immediately jumped on Cortes who pushed back on the total innocence of the exonerated men who were arrested as teenagers for the rape of a woman in New York City’s Central Park.

(Video: CNN)

The tension erupted as Cuomo called out President Trump for never apologizing after he had taken out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times in 1989, calling for the death penalty to be reinstated in order to apply it to the five teens arrested at the time.

Years later, the five men settled a $41 million civil rights lawsuit for wrongful imprisonment after being exonerated of all charges in 2014. Though Trump had not gone back to correct his initial views, he thrust the case back into the spotlight Monday when he condemned former Vice President Joe Biden for the 1994 crime bill, prompting attacks from the left about his own history.

“You ignored the premise of my initial question which was, Donald Trump has never apologized for — I always call him Mr. President but I’m talking about him then as a citizen, he wasn’t president then, obviously, back in the late 80s — he’s never apologized for it,” Cuomo said to Cortes. “He thinks they still did it! I can’t believe that he believes that, but he says it. And I don’t know why he feels that he can have high ground on this with what he did back then.”

“Chris, I would love to get into all the facts of that night, of what happened with the Central Park Five, because they are not nearly as exculpatory to those five gentlemen as you want to believe,” the former member of Trump’s Hispanic advisory council replied before Jones began to object.

“All they had were their confessions,” Cuomo interjected. “All they had were confessions from a bunch of kids where they put them in separate rooms! I’ve read the books on it, I’ve lived it.”

“I know the facts very well,” Cortes said as Jones jumped in.

“You’re terrible,” he said, repeating “no” over and over. “I’m not let you come up here and lie.”

“You can’t just say no a thousand times and not let me talk!” Cortes fired back.

“Another guy’s DNA was on the victim,” Cuomo noted, prompting Cortes to elaborate on the prosecutor’s closing arguments in the case.

“Steve, you are gonna go back — no,” Jones continued. “This is disgusting and pathetic on your part.”

“Can I talk?!” Cortes asked in exasperation after another interruption by Jones and as Cuomo spoke over him.

“Nope, not on this,” Jones replied.

The segment devolved into chaos as the panelists spoke over each other, leading a defeated Cuomo to finally say,  “Let’s end it there, let’s end it there.”

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Frieda Powers

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