St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey snapped at CNN anchor Chris Cuomo during a heated exchange Wednesday on CNN.
McCloskey, whose image went viral when he and his wife Patricia armed themselves to confront protesters marching through their gated community, appeared on “Cuomo Prime Time” alongside his attorney. The St. Louis-based attorney, who said that he had initially been reluctant to appear on Cuomo’s show, appeared to be frustrated when Cuomo pressed him to explain why President Donald Trump had retweeted video of the confrontation. (RELATED: St. Louis Authorities Will Investigate Homeowners Who Met Trespassing Protesters With Guns)
Cuomo began by suggesting that McCloskey, because of President Trump’s retweet of the video, had become the face of “white resistance” against the Black Lives Matter movement.
“He became the face involuntarily,” Albert Watkins, McCloskey’s attorney explained.
“I’m not saying it was voluntary. I’m saying why do you think the president retweeted it?” Cuomo pressed, talking over Watkins.
“You can talk all night if you don’t let me answer,” Watkins shot back.
“Well, that’s a second question,” Watkins said as McCloskey added, “Maybe you should ask the president.”
“You should ask the president,” Watkins agreed.
“He doesn’t answer my question,” Cuomo protested.
“I’m not going to speak for the president, quite frankly, I find it probably an impossibility for anyone to speak for the president,” Watkins pushed back.
Cuomo tried again, turning the question to McCloskey directly. “Mr. McCloskey, this is what I’m saying, the president retweeted this for a reason. Why do you think he retweeted it?”
McCloskey said again that he did not have any idea why the president might have retweeted the video, adding that he had not seen the tweet and repeating, “I think you ought to ask the president.”
“I was reluctant to come on your show for a similar reason,” McCloskey continued, noting that the purpose of the protest over the weekend was to call for Democratic St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to resign because she had shared some of their private information.
“Those have been people walking down my street screaming death threats and threatening to burn my house and kill my dogs and saying what rooms in my house they were going to live in after they killed me, do you think them distributing my information all over the western hemisphere is different than what they’re asking the mayor to resign for doing? This hypocrisy is just obvious nonsense,” he said.
Cuomo said that he didn’t like the fact that the McCloskeys had been “weaponized for political means,” going on to take a veiled shot at Fox News host Tucker Carlson — who had interviewed McCloskey earlier in the evening. “I’m not going to use you as a pawn to advance my own agenda like the show you went on, which is where somebody wants people to see Black Lives Matter as inimical to the American cause,” Cuomo said.
“That’s why I asked you that, not because that’s how you see yourself. But that’s how you are being seen. I wanted to give you a chance with counsel to respond to that,” Cuomo said.
McCloskey said that the people he had felt threatened by were white, adding, “A guy stands in front of me, pulls out two loaded pistol magazines, snaps them in front of my face and says, you’re next. If you were there, Chris, I think you’d feel like you had a right to defend yourself, as well.”
“Absolutely, somebody takes out magazines and clicks it and makes a direct threat, I would feel threatened 100%,” Cuomo replied.
Cuomo then shifted the conversation slightly, saying that it really came down to how people treat each other. “That’s why the president tweeted this tweet, Mr. Watkins, you know it, and Mr. Mccloskey, you know it. He retweeted it. He liked the image of white resistance to this movement and I’m not saying that was fair to you. But we know that’s why he did it.”
“I’m glad you are a mind reader,” McCloskey snapped. “Because no one else thinks you are”