Sebastian Gorka, President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE's deputy assistant, mocked CNN's ratings on its morning program "New Day" on Tuesday, stating in a contentious interview with co-anchor Alisyn Camerota that "more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN today."
The interview started out cordially as the two discussed Iraqi forces defeating ISIS to win back the city of Mosul, the country's second-largest city.
But matters soon got heated when Camerota pivoted to the Trump administration and Russia.
Camerota asked Gorka if he thought it was a good idea for Donald Trump Jr. to take a meeting with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.
Gorka responded by asking Camerota if it was "a good idea for the [Democratic National Committee] to send its operatives to the Ukrainian Embassy?”
"Is it possible that your team is obsessed with the Clintons?" Camerota shot back.
"No. We’d like you to actually do your job. You aren’t in the news business anymore," Gorka replied. "You used to be. You are in the attacking President Trump business. And it’s sad. It’s really sad."
"It’s interesting. Look, I know you have to go, and I didn’t even want to go down this rabbit hole with you. When you take shots at us and at journalism, at CNN," Camerota said before being interrupted by Gorka.
"Not journalism. CNN," he said.
Camerota said Gorka was the one who asked to appear on the network.
"OK. When you take shots at CNN, I do feel that I must respond and just point out that you called us yesterday to come on here."
"That’s what we do," Gorka replied.
The 46-year-old Gorka also jabbed CNN's ratings.
Recent ratings have shown Fox News and MSNBC at No. 1 and No. 2 in basic cable, respectively. CNN ranks at No. 13, behind Nickelodeon, which airs the Nick at Nite programming block nightly starting at 10 p.m.
Overall, CNN is up about 50 percent year-over-year in the last quarter, though most cable news channels are seen increased ratings in 2017. And CNN has dipped noticeably in the past few weeks, including being unable to break 800,000 in total viewers on Friday in prime time. Most Fox News and MSNBC programs triple and double CNN's numbers, respectively.
“The amount of time you spend in desperation on a topic that has plummeted you to 13th place in viewership ranking across America, more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN today,” Gorka said.
“Our ratings are doing just fine,” Camerota said. “If you want to go there, our ratings are doing just fine.”
“Nick at Nite is [in 11th place],” Gorka said. “More people are interested in cartoons!”
This is the second contentious interview between a Trump administration official and CNN's morning program in recent days.
On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway asked Chris Cuomo on Monday if the anchor was embarrassed "to talk more about Russia than America."
The interview primarily focused on Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and whether Trump pressed Putin on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
"CNN spent a full week-plus doing nothing but having these headlines saying President Trump is not expected to bring up Russian interference with President Putin," said Conway, referring to an oft-repeated CNN report that Trump wouldn't broach the election interference topic with Putin.
"He made it top of the agenda. It was first on the list. He pressed him early and often," Conway continued.
“Did he press him or ask him whether he did it?” Cuomo asked.
“But that’s not good enough" Conway retorted. "Did CNN say he wasn’t going to mention it at all or didn’t they? Oh, they did. We have this great montage. People say stuff that isn’t true.”
“I stand by my reporting on it," Cuomo responded.