During yet another heated exchange between CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, the latter ignored criticism of the White House’s decision to not impose congressionally approved Russia sanctions. Instead, the former Trump campaign manager offered the wildly inaccurate claim that the president was responsible for the Islamic State’s declining stature. It all came about when Conway stated that having Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “sit down and figure out where we can work together” was a good thing, especially “on big issues” like combating and defeating ISIS.
“ISIS is a shadow of itself now because of this president’s leadership. Because he’s willing to call terrorists who they are,” she noted with direct and implied references to Trump’s willingness, and Clinton’s hesitation, to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorists.” Before Conway could continue, however, Cuomo interrupted with a brief mention of Kabul, Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters have engaged in a series of deadly attacks. ISIS and the Taliban are not the same entity, of course, but this didn’t prevent Cuomo and Conway’s verbal sparring match from continuing:
“Tell that to the people who didn’t vote for the person who lost the election, whose name I never mention on TV anymore. Because she would never call them ‘radical Islamic terrorists.’ She called them our ‘determined enemies.’ … She’s soft on terrorists [and] soft on crime.”
“This president talks about respecting strength more than any man I’ve ever met in my life, let alone president. Strength is showing that if you do something to us that is wrong, there will be a price. He says it all the time. They did something to us that is wrong. There is no price. Where’s the price? Congress comes together, they pass the sanctions. He doesn’t do it.”
In concluding his response to Conway’s digressions, Cuomo also mentioned the fact that a Russian fighter jet had flown within five feet of a U.S. Navy vessel in Black Sea the same day that the White House decided not to impose the sanctions. Even so, the New Day host noted, “He says nothing.” You can watch the three-minute exchange on the Russian sanctions (or lack thereof) below.