CNN anchor Jake Tapper opened up “The Lead” on Monday by attempting to contextualize President Donald Trump’s recent tweets aimed at delegitimizing a federal judge, polling, and the news media.
Tapper targeted three of Trump’s tweets in particular. The first was from Sunday, following Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Robart issuing a nationwide temporary stay on Trump’s temporary travel ban from seven majority-Muslim countries.
It followed up a tweet in which Trump labelled Robart as a “so-called” judge — which, as Tapper put it, seemed to question the judge’s legitimacy and competency.
“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Trump wrote Sunday. “If something happens, blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Tapper then mentioned Trump’s Monday tweet deeming all negative polling as “fake news.”
“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election,” Trump wrote. “Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”
Tapper highlighted the the tweet’s initial six words.
“You got that?” he asked. “So any polling, suggesting anything negative about the president or his policies, is not, in his view, real.”
Lastly, he noted Trump’s follow-up tweet, which seemed to be a response to a New York Times report that Trump was not “fully briefed” on the details of an executive order giving his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a regular seat on the National Security Council’s Principals Committee.
“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it,” Trump tweeted. “Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”
He followed up later on Monday, attacking The Times by claiming the outlets “writes total fiction concerning me.”
Tapper tried to sum up what it all meant.
“If a judge rules against the president, he’s a so-called judge,” the CNN anchor said. “If a poll shows that a majority of you disagree with his policies, the poll is fake. If a well-sourced news story reflects something unflattering about him, that story is fake.”
“So, the judicial branch of government and the free press, two fundamental pillars of our democracy,” he continued. “If we take actions he does not like, we are not legitimate.”
Tapper then pointed to Trump’s pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. During that interview, O’Reilly said Putin was a “killer” after asking him why he respected the Russian president.
“Lot of killers,” Trump responded. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”
For many years, Putin has been criticised by leaders across the aisle — who were also quick to condemn Trump’s remarks — for human rights abuses that include the stifling of freedom of speech and imprisonment of political opponents. A string of prominent Putin critics have also ended up dead.
After the clip played. Tapper said: “So as long as we all know where we stand, I suppose.”
Watch the clip below:
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