White House counselor Kellyanne Conway took CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to task Wednesday night for fixating on climate change's alleged role in the strength of Hurricane Harvey as the Houston area continues to recover from the storm's devastation.
During the interview, Conway attempted to talk about rescue efforts being implemented to assist flooding victims, but Cuomo continually tried to steer the conversation toward climate change.
How it began
The two kicked off their sparring match discussing the Trump administration's response to Harvey.
Conway noted that she had hopes that Congress wouldn't "play politics" when it came to disbursing funds for disaster victims, and in response, Cuomo said that Republicans drug their heels when it came to recovery funding for 2012's Hurricane Sandy.
“We hope it will be bipartisan in nature,” Conway responded to Cuomo's remarks. “So few things in this city have been [bipartisan] since we arrived in January. We can’t seem to get many Democrats at the table for big, meaningful initiatives and that’s very disappointing.”
After several minutes of back and forth about the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, Cuomo began steering the conversation toward climate change, and his intimations that climate change was behind Harvey's level of destruction.
The segue to climate change
Cuomo asked Conway, "One of the themes that’s coming out of this ... is opening up a discussion about climate change. Is the president, is the administration, open to that conversation?"
Conway expressed her disappointment that Cuomo would rather talk about climate change than about hurricane victims in need.
"Chris, we’re literally trying to help the people whose lives are under water and you want to have a conversation about climate change," Conway said.
Cuomo turned the accusation around and said that, if more attention were paid to the theory of climate change and prevention of natural disasters, there wouldn't be as many victims of extreme weather in the first place.
"Are you really going to play climatologist?" Conway snapped. "Here’s the deal: You play amateur climatologist tonight, and I’ll play professional helper to those in need."