CNN's Chris Cuomo said the formal setting of the Oval Office did the president "no favors" Tuesday night following Trump's primetime address on border security. The speech was a far cry from the off the record lunch Cuomo attended with Trump earlier in the day, where Trump was "way more compelling."
"The content was off the record, but I will tell you he's much more compelling making his case in person than he was on teleprompter," according to the anchor.
Cuomo's panel of experts didn't just take issue with the president's tone, but they also suggested the address was light on facts. They took turns sounding off on some of Trump's claims.
According to Toronto Star's Daniel Dale, Trump was way off base when he claimed that Democrats requested he build a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall. That's not true, Dale said. They don't want anything to do with the project.
President Trump claimed that, "At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall."— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 9, 2019
"This was not a democratic request," says Toronto Star's Daniel Dale. "Democrats' problem is not the material, it's the project." https://t.co/gTybS3PiI4 pic.twitter.com/1Mk7awsAjY
In fact, in their rebuttal, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi noted a wall was an "ineffective" and "expensive" waste of time and taxpayer money.
At one point, Cuomo had to share something that was "bothering" him all weekend. The president, he asserted, is taking credit for a barrier that is already at the border.
“Let’s just get something straight for the audience right now because this is one of those things that’s literally been bothering me — almost ruined my vacation,” Cuomo said. “There is a barrier system all along the southern border. They need more.”
“Anybody who does the reporting, anybody who talks to the people down there doing the work — the men and women — they need more of what the president is increasingly describing as his own idea for a bollard fence.”
However, if you notice in those remarks, Cuomo said that border patrol needs more of a barrier. It was the second time this week he defended the presence of a physical structure at the border. It's "not immoral" to want that, he told his colleague Don Lemon on Monday.
"By the way, wanting barriers along the border is not propaganda," Cuomo said. "It's not immoral, it's not wrong."
He also pushed back at Lemon for suggesting their network air the president's remarks with a "delay" so they can fact check him in real time.
"You let him speak, and then you hold him to account," Cuomo had to explain.
In case you were wondering what CNN's Jim Acosta thought of President Trump's address...here he is explaining why the speech should have come with a "surgeon general's warning."
CNN's Jim Acosta says President Donald Trump's address to the nation about immigration and border security was recycled rhetoric from the President's rallies and should come with a Surgeon General's warning that it's "hazardous to the truth." https://t.co/awgEtwdKlt pic.twitter.com/3DxvlO445S— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 9, 2019