CNN's Cuomo: 'There's 100 percent behavior by people' around Trump 'that qualifies as collusion'

CNN's Chris Cuomo late Tuesday defended his network after a Republican lawmaker accused it of putting "out the wrong facts" around the special counsel's Russia investigation, with the host saying "it's not true" collusion didn't exist between President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE's associates and Russian officials.

Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyFirst lady's press secretary calls on Rachel Campos Duffy, Fox News to apologize for host's comments Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans Ron Johnson: 'I may not be the best candidate' for 2022 midterms MORE (R-Wis.) joined "Cuomo Prime Time" and accused CNN of pushing a narrative around collusion between Trump allies and Russia for almost two years.


“You’re the reporters. You have a job to make sure you’re putting out the right facts, and for two years, you put out the wrong facts," said Duffy.

“What wrong facts did we put out?” Cuomo asked.

“That there’s Russia collusion,” Duffy said. “You’re telling me I have to present the bottom line, that there’s no collusion—”

“There’s 100 percent behavior by people around the president that qualifies as collusion,” Cuomo injected before Duffy could finish. “Collusion is not a crime. It’s a behavior.”

“But collusion with Russia didn’t exist,” Duffy said.

“That’s not true,” Cuomo contended. “Mueller says he couldn’t make a criminal case that any of those people helped the Russians interfere. It’s one issue.”

"Collusion is when you’re doing sneaky things with people that you know you’re not supposed to do it with," Cuomo later added. "Might it be a crime? Maybe, maybe not. That’s what was going on with the Trump people, and we don’t know whether or not he knew about it.”

The back-and-forth came two days after Attorney General William Barr said special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign." But the investigation did not "exonerate" Trump on obstruction of justice, Barr added.

CNN focused heavily on the Russia investigation since the special counsel was created following the firing of then-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE in May 2017.

Trump took aim at CNN and rival MSNBC on Tuesday night, declaring the "fake news media has lost tremendous credibility" for its Russia investigation coverage of almost the past two years.

"The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of your all time favorite duly elected President, me! T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night after seeing the Mueller Report statement," the president wrote to his more than 59 million followers.

A recent CNN poll found that the Russia investigation does not register at all on the list of important issues for voters in the 2020 election.