CNN "Cuomo Prime Time" host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night told his colleague Don Lemon that he was "petty and small" for saying he would not have shaken President Donald Trump's hand at former President George H.W. Bush's funeral.
Cuomo and Lemon reflected on the funeral and how Trump shook hands with former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, prompting Lemon to criticize Trump in saying, "You don't have to show respect for that kind of person."
"The Obamas are really classy folks because I don't know if I could be so— Can we put that up?" Lemon said, referring to footage of Trump and the Obamas shaking hands. "I want to say that I don't think I would shake hands with them. Nope, couldn't do it. I'm not that big a person. I would hope that I would be, but I don't— I can't fake the funk as they say."
Cuomo said he didn't think it was about "faking the funk" for Obama as much as it was about "showing respect for something bigger than him." Lemon followed up by asking why they should show respect when Trump doesn't.
"Oh come on, that's not the measure," Cuomo said, prompting Lemon to push back.
"What are you talking about, Chris? [The Obamas] showed respect for the office the way they conducted themselves in office. No scandal. There was no trash. There was no affair," Lemon said, prompting agreement from Cuomo. "They showed the ultimate respect for the office. They do not have to show respect for someone who does not respect them, someone who tweets out pictures of them behind bars."
Lemon then brought out a CNN staffer to reenact what he would have done at the funeral. The staffer was supposed to be Trump reaching out his hand to shake Lemon's hand. Lemon gave a nod of his head and refrained from extending his hand.
"You're petty and small," Cuomo said.
"I'm not petty and small. That's real, brother. That's real" Lemon responded.
"Real petty and small," Cuomo fired back.