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 John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE's associates and Russian officials.

Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Trump's defenders are running out of options 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) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' 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 ComeyChris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' Day one impeachment hearings draw 13.1M viewers, down 32 percent from Comey hearings There are poor ideas, bad ones and Facebook's Libra 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.