CNN anchor Chris Cuomo raised eyebrows on Tuesday night when he suggested that the George Floyd protesters don't have to be "polite and peaceful."
Cuomo blasted those who believe the national "problem" is the riots that have taken place following the death of George Floyd and not the police brutality that prompted the nationwide protests.
"Now too many see the protests as the problem. No, the problem is what forced your fellow citizens to take to the streets: persistent, poisonous inequities and injustice," Cuomo told his viewers. "And please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time."
He later added, "Police are the ones required to be peaceful, to deescalate, to remain calm."
Critics slammed the "Cuomo Prime Time" anchor, many of them pointing to the Constitution.
"Yeah it's not like the First Amendment specifies our rights as 'peaceably to assemble,'" The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech quipped.
"Protests absolutely don't have to be polite, but the law says they must be peaceful," Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy told Cuomo.
"Old line: the protests are mostly peaceful. New line: who says protests have to be peaceful?" National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote.
Donald Trump Jr. accused Cuomo of "carrying water for violent criminals" who have caused havoc in cities across the country.
"Imagine saying that less than a day since Captain David Dorn was killed in cold blood by looters? Truly disgusting," Trump Jr. wrote, referring to the St. Louis riot victim.
Over the years, Cuomo has been accused of defending Antifa, the self-described "anti-fascist" movement that has incited violence at various protests across the country, including the George Floyd protests as many suspect.
Back in 2018, he referred to Antifa as "counterprotesters" and argued “all punches are not equal” when they incite violence against racists.
“If you’re a punk who comes and starts trouble in a mask and hurt people, you’re not about any virtuous cause. You’re just somebody who’s going to be held to the standard of doing something wrong," Cuomo explained. “But when someone comes to call out bigots and it gets hot, even physical, are they equally wrong as the bigot they are fighting? I argue no.”
During a heated panel discussion in 2019, Cuomo went to bat for Antifa after a guest condemned its violence.
"You can talk about Antifa. I've watched them in streets protesting in different situations, okay?" Cuomo said. "There are certainly aspects of them that are true to a cause, that is a good cause, they want social justice, they want whatever they want in that context."
The CNN anchor clarified that he did not want to "espouse Antifa," which Cortes argued he sounded like he was.
"You don't draw a moral equivalency between the neo-Nazis and the people there who fight against them," Cuomo said. "You don't do that in that context because that's not what we are about."