White House counselor Kellyanne Conway sparred with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo about the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Harvey. Scion of Democrats Cuomo called for a discussion about the supposed role of global climate change, asking whether President Trump will focus on the issue.  Conway pointed out that it is the wrong to discuss the controversy over climate change while authorities are still seeking to help victims of the storm and resultant flooding.

When Cuomo said that "scientists say climate change is part of the equation" with regard to the severity of storms, Conway shot back, "I'm exposing the irony of the conversation. You play amateur climatologist tonight and I'll play professional helper to those in need."

Conway told Cuomo, "Chris, we're trying to help the people whose lives are literally underwater, and you want to have a conversation about climate change?" Mentioning the aid that the Administration is delivering to victims, she said, "I work for a President and a vice president and a country that is very focused on the millions of affected Texans and God forbid Louisianans." Conway said, "I'm going to focus on them in the short-term, perhaps the long-term."

Cuomo said, “Good, you should. But it doesn't mean you do that to the exclusion to the question of why storms happen. At some point, that could be part of the conversation."

During the exchange on Wednesday night, Cuomo wondered whether Trump can herd Republicans into a consensus over relief for Hurricane Harvey’s victims. He said that some Texans in Congress are opposed to a relief bill. Accusing Cuomo of  "politicizing" the tragedy, Conway insisted that funds are on their way. 

"We hope that Congress will focus on the President's priority, which is to connect the people in need with the money and the resources that they require to get immediate help but also to rebuild their lives," Conway told Cuomo. When Cuomo said that some of Trump’s Cabinet members as members of Congress once voted against the 2013 Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

"They voted against what they saw as a pork-laden bill that included many other things," Conway said. "I saw one was for a car for a Inspector General, another was to revamp some building -- but this is about getting money to the people."

Cuomo dismissed claims of improprieties in spending on the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which struck New Jersey and New York. When he asked Conway to answer how Trump will avoid such pitfalls, Conway insisted, "The money will be there," adding, "We hope that Republicans and Democrats will come together and not politicize this."

Kellyanne Conway didn't take kindly to Chris Cuomo insistence on talking about climate change during an interview about Hurricane Harvey disaster relief on Wednesday, prompting her to say the CNN host was playing "amateur climatologist."



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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