White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka clashed with Chris Cuomo during a heated interview on Monday, calling out the CNN host for spinning "classic fake news" while discussing President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban.
Cuomo asked Gorka about Trump's executive order that temporarily restricts immigration from several Muslim-majority countries over terrorism concerns.
The president tweeted early Monday morning about the executive order and called it a "travel ban," despite earlier statements from White House press secretary Sean Spicer denying that it is a ban. Trump also appeared to criticize his Justice Department for not sticking with the original executive order that was struck down by the courts.
The CNN interview became contentious several times as Cuomo insisted that Trump's order is meant to target the Muslim community.
"I explain it by you wanting to go with the original model to make it easier to pass because you were mimicking what [Barack] Obama did, and therefore masking your true intention was to not make it about travel, make it about Muslims," Cuomo said. "And as you well know, not just in your own rhetoric but the president's, he has said time and again that he thinks there's a problem with Islam and that he thinks that the Muslims may have a problem with us."
"As you know, with what we're seeing in the U.K. right now, attachment to the community of Muslims is so important, and the concern is that a move like this, trumpeted by the president in the midst of crisis in the U.K., sends an ugly message to our Muslim community here in the United States," the CNN host continued.
"Well, unfortunately, what you've just spun is classic fake news," Gorka responded.
As the two argued over the merits of the travel ban, the conversation soon devolved into an argument about CNN's ratings.
GORKA: That's why your viewing figures are in the tank.CUOMO: No, actually we're up over 100 percent year over year. But don't let the facts get in your way. You're good at avoiding them.
GORKA: Unless you're being mandatory in every airport in America, you're in the tank, Chris.CUOMO: We're up 100 percent year over year, Sebastian. What you said is foolishly wrong—it's not just abusive of fact, but its silly with its own logic. CNN has benefited so greatly from the current dialogue and the demand for fact and testing power, that it is demonstrable by any metric you want to use. But I don't care about that. Let's put that to the side.GORKA: Chris, you're just comedy now. It's just comedy.CUOMO: You may think it's comedy, but I want to address things that really matter.GORKA: Getting two viewers instead of one is a 100 percent increase, Chris. You know that, right?CUOMO: Excuse me?GORKA: Getting two viewers instead of one is a 100 percent increase as well.CUOMO: That's not the numbers. Those aren't the numbers involved. But again, that's not the point.GORKA: Chris you're playing games. You're playing games.CUOMO: Good try. Good try. I give you points for that, Sebastian. Next time I see you, the meal is on me.GORKA: Good spin, Chris.CUOMO: But this isn't about CNN's success, because that's obvious.GORKA: No, it's about relevance.