While Conway tried really hard to pivot to various talking points, Cuomo remained steadfast on one goal: getting the White House spokesman to “own” lying about not knowing about payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal -- both women who have alleged affairs with Trump —- during the 2016 campaign.
Of course, Conway never gave him that satisfaction, but it certainly was entertaining to watch -- if you enjoy the blonde White House spokesman repeatedly referring to Cuomo as "Christopher" and insulting CNN. But if you just wanted some honesty for once, it was another disappointment.
CNN anchor Don Lemon summed it up best during a post-show interview with Cuomo. "I can not get that 20 minutes of my life back."
It was actually 32 minutes, and since you're all busy, we thought we'd just give you the feistiest exchanges from our favorite cable news odd couple.
Own It? No, You Own It
While Cuomo was trying to get Connway to admit the president lied about knowing about Michael Cohen's $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels —- citing both audio of Trump allegedly talking about the deal with Cohen as well as Cohen himself telling prosecutors Trump was aware -- she demanded Cuomo own what she believes is a network bias against the president.
“I know your viewers expect to be fed anti-trump [rhetoric] every single night and they come away quite satisfied. And let's be fair here, that's true, you should just own it. Just say listen, it's great for revenues and ratings,” Conway said.
“You want me to own that?” asked an exasperated Cuomo. “You won't own what is so obvious and I don't get it. You could say, 'Did he lie? Yes he lied, he's not perfect, but it's not illegal.'”
After Cuomo played a series of clips seeming to prove Trump's lies about the payments, Conway distracted with this question: “You know what tape I want to hear? Tell us what's on the tape of Chris Cuomo and Michael Cohen. What's on the two hour tape of the two of you?”
“Tons of stuff,” Cuomo immediately answered, but said he wasn't going to spill any details. “There's a little difference between you and me and the shop you're working for — integrity.“
“How dare you,” Conway fired back.
“How dare me?" an exasperated Cuomo said. "You admit he's lying about these things. It's as plain as the nose on my face. You should admit he's lying, and you don't, it's why people don't trust you.”
He continued to bulldog over Conway's objections so he could explain that Cohen recorded their conversation without his knowledge.
“How do you feel about that?” Conway asked, sounding like Cuomo's therapist in the moment.
“I think it was dishonest and a bad thing to do. And I'll tell you what. You wanna know what we talked about in the conversation? I'm not going to tell you. Do you know why? Because it was off the record and I respect that, even though he did me wrong, that's called integrity. What do you do when peopel aren't watching? I'm still not going to burn him, even though he did me wrong.”
“But hold, this isn't about me. You tried, you failed,” he added.
When Cuomo cited Cohen as living proof Trump has been caught lying, Conway asked, “The Michael Cohen who you just said disappointed you by being dishonest?”
Coumo reasoned Conway is a disappointment too, yet he's still talking to her.
“You're disappointing me right now, doesn't mean you're not my friend, doesn't mean I don't think you lie all the time, just because you're disappointing me.”
Then Conway called out Cuomo for continually talking over her. “You've got about 10 times the words I do so far, and I'm the guest.”
His reasoning: “Because you're not answering a simple question.”
“Christopher, here's a very, very simple answer to you. When you say to me that this is why the audience doesn't trust you — you know what the audience doesn't trust the white house. Because all day long on your network, all they hear is how terrible we all are, that we lack integrity, that we lie. What is it you think I lie about?”
We recommend she Google it, because there's a lot.
“He won't even let me speak. I think it's kind of sexist the way you're conducting this interview. How's that?” Conway asked with a grin on her face. "You're not letting the woman talk about it.”
“Oh please,” Cuomo responded. "I treat you as somebody who comes in here to represent the president. You know, man, woman or other, you're gonna get the same treatment from me.”
“You're not letting me speak.”
“I am, but you're are dissembling and you are distracting,” he shot back, but threw in what we think was a subtle compliment: “Nobody can shut you down, we both know that.”
This Isn't Fox News
When Cuomo remained firm that he would not let his guest tell lies on his show, he jabbed his cable news competition in the process. “I can't let you say things that aren't true, that's not what this show is about. That's Fox. You go to Fox for that.”
“I'm so glad you mentioned Fox, because none of you are able to get through most of your shows without mentioning them. It's not a good look to be so jealous of Fox News' ratings.
Cuomo shot back with more shade. “I'm jealous of the opportunities they get to test power, they just don't take them.”
Minutes later in the interview, she threw more shade at CNN when she once again name dropped its biggest competitor as "the highly rated Fox News."
Cuomo Accuses Trump of 'Defecating' on Jeff Sessions
In one of the wildest moments, which even made Conway say "Woah," Cuomo made a poop joke while referencing the president regularly jabbing Jeff Sessions -— the attorney general that Trump personally appointed.
“So you've got your own attorney general in there, who loves Donald Trump, even though he just defecates all over the guy on a regular basis,” Cuomo said. “He does. I've never seen anyone treat someone the way he's treating the attorney general, and he should just get rid of him. He should give him the dignity of asking him to leave if he's just going to attack him all the time.”
“Well, that will go viral anyway,” Conway said of Cuomo's poop joke. “What you wanted me to say, I won't.”
Cuomo Calls Out Conway for Politicizing Murder of Mollie Tibbetts
As part of Conway's effort to prove CNN has a problematic anti-Trump bias, she tried to imply the network was ignoring the homicide death of the 20-year-old University of Iowa student who went missing on July 18 before her body was found.
CNN reported the autopsy results earlier that day. A 24-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, has been charged with the crime after he confessed to following her on her run, but said details were "blocked" from his memory.
"There's wall-to-wall coverage about a missing woman in Iowa until she was found -- God rest her soul -- and then you don't even have the decency—-"
And then Cuomo intervened.
"God rest her soul? You're not letting her soul rest. You're waving her like a flag,” he said, and then proceeded to openly mock the Trump administration for using her death to rally support for the president's anti-immigrant agenda. “'We're hijacking her grief! If you're not with us about immigrants than you don't care about Mollie Tibbetts.”
“How dare you,” Conway said.
“No, how dare you and how dare the president,” Cuomo fired right back, and brought up the administration previously politicizing Kate Steinle's death to try to bring more urgency to building that proposed border wall.
When Conway accused Cuomo of not caring about Americans murdered by illegal immigrants, Cuomo called out Trump.
"Over 17,000 murders in this country in 2016, how many times has he stood up and said this is an atrocity? Only when the people who kill them are someone that he wants to target. Come on. Come on!"