CNN anchor Chris Cuomo laughed at President Donald Trump on air Thursday night when the Trump campaign issued a cease and desist letter to the network for reporting poll numbers. Cuomo shared the news on his show Cuomo Prime Time, apparently chuckling with surprise and frustration at the state of American politics. From the sound of it, CNN will not be issuing an apology or a retraction for the poll.
The Trump campaign reportedly demanded an apology from CNN and Cuomo's show for reporting on a poll that showed Joe Biden leading by 14 points in the 2020 presidential election. This was particularly strange since other polls and other news outlets reported similar findings — a poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post showed Biden with a 10-point lead, and even Fox News reported on a poll which showed that Biden led by 11 points. Cuomo pointed out that CNN has reported accurately when the president is leading in the polls, implying that the president is hypocritical for condemning their unfavorable findings. "Why am I laughing? Because I don't want to cry on television!" Cuomo said.
"Why am I laughing? Because I don't want to cry," says @chriscuomo on the Trump campaign demanding this network apologize for a poll that showed Joe Biden in the lead.
"It is so sick and sad and obvious. Lie, deny, defy…Divide and conquer. That's what this President is about." pic.twitter.com/aFscxYJYqj— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 11, 2020
"Can you believe that we have to have these conversations?" the anchor added. "Can you believe this? I mean, literally, it would not make it through a screenplay treatment. A week ago, he called on state TV over at Fox — they're his puppets over there at night — to put up a CNN poll... I don't want to cry. It is so sick and sad and obvious."
Cuomo went on to report that Trump had hired pollsters of his own, McLaughlin & Associates, but pointed out that this group has a history of inaccuracy and data manipulation. He said: "CNN is well aware of the reputation of John McLaughlin and McLaughlin & Associates. In 2014, his firm famously reported that Eric Cantor was leading his primary challenger Dave Brat by 34 points. He lost by 11. That’s a 45 point swing. The firm currently has a C/D rating from FiveThirtyEight."
Cuomo made it clear that CNN will not capitulate with the Trump campaign's request, saying: "our network's message is this: No." He went on to say that threats like this from politicians to media outlets "have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little to no respect for a free and independent media." He went on to declare, "This is America. You don't control what a free press says. That's the free part."