CNN host Chris Cuomo went after conservative leader Matt Schlapp for his criticism of comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner, calling him a hypocrite for failing to denounce President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE for his personal attacks on others.
Schlapp, who organizes the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and whose wife, Mercedes Schlapp, works in the White House communications office, walked out of the correspondents’ dinner Saturday night over Wolf’s jokes.
“It is such obvious hypocrisy at play,” Cuomo said. “How Matt Schlapp or any of these people can defend what the president did with his mannerisms — and this is just one example I could give you dozens.”
Cuomo was referring to Trump mocking a disabled reporter during a 2015 campaign rally, which Trump has denied.
“If you’re going to mitigate what the most powerful man in the world says — and he’s being dead serious, he’s trying to divide people when he says the things. He’s trying to play the base that Schlapp so desperately covets, and then you’re going to get this upset over a comedian. I mean come on,” the host said.
Schlapp defended his actions, saying that he and his wife’s decision to walk out was a personal one. Schlapp tweeted about walking out soon afterward, but did attend an afterparty for the dinner.
My wife @mercedesschlapp and I walked out early from the wh correspondents dinner. Enough of elites mocking all of us— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) April 29, 2018
Cuomo also claimed that Schlapp and other conservatives had decided "to swallow" Trump's attacks on others "because it plays to political advantage."
Schlapp in turn accused the media of holding personal biases against the president and conservatives, which Cuomo disputed.
Wolf's performance at the correspondents' dinner sparked a firestorm, particularly over her jokes about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The WHCA said in a statement Sunday that Wolf's routine was “not in the spirit” of its mission.
And Trump has attacked both the dinner and Wolf in a series of tweets. He called the event "dead as we know it" on Monday.