Following a series of contentious interviews on Tuesday, Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka sat down with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for a Wednesday evening segment on “AC360,” and almost immediately, things went south.
Cooper started off by suggesting that the White House had gone into “bunker mode” — pointing out that the president had gone four days without a public event — after news broke of Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial email release.
Gorka dove right in, pointing out that the report was “laughable” and that a recent CNN chyron “talked about a crisis” in the White House, but that there was “absolutely nothing of the kind” happening.
The assistant to the president would then comment that President Donald Trump was a “steam locomotive that will not be stopped.” He then doubled down on calling CNN “fake news,” saying he was “sad” to see the network “fall to this.”
Cooper demurred, though, trying to keep the interview on track: “I'm just going to ignore the insults because I don't think it gets us anywhere.”
Gorka then pointed out that it wasn't a personal attack on Cooper but that he was concerned more about journalism as a whole. “Where are the Walter Cronkites of yesteryear?” he asked.
Cooper pushed on, asking about the president's Wednesday morning tweets. A fiery exchange ensued, with Gorka defending Trump Jr.'s transparency in revealing his emails ahead of a scheduled New York Times expose and Cooper pointing out that he only did so to “smartly [get] ahead of it.”
Gorka then quipped that he thought he was asked on the program to “talk about real issues,” to which Cooper retorted, “Oh, are you a TV producer now?”
The conversation then turned to ratings, with Gorka pointing out a recent favorite fact of his that CNN had fallen behind Nick at Nite in the ratings.
(It should be noted that the ratings Gorka has so often referenced in recent days are from the week of June 26 to July 2.)
Gorka then went on to reference Fox News's Tucker Carlson and his ratings, saying, “Tucker Carlson got 4 million viewers!”
Cooper seemed unamused, “Oh, Jesus...,” before circling back to the subject of Trump Jr.'s emails.
Gorka deflected again, saying that Cooper sounded like a “broken record.”
“I'm not getting any answers from you,” Cooper stated.
“I'm answering you every time,” Gorka retorted.
“You're responding, but you're not answering,” Cooper quipped.