CNN anchor Jake Tapper ended a struggling Sunday interview with Trump campaign senior adviser Lara Trump by pressuring the president’s daughter-in-law to openly mock Joe Biden’s well-known tribe, prompting a tense exchange over the Democratic candidate’s mental fitness for office.
Top of CNN State of the Union Sunday morning, Tapper noted that he had tried to book members of the Coronavirus Task Force, senior White House officials or the leaders of the CDC and FDA to discuss the administration’s intermediate efforts to combat the pandemic.
But the White House rejected all requests, so a resigned Tapper then welcomed Trump.
The veteran anchor immediately began his interview by bringing up the president̵
“I suppose they said she was threatened,” the president said dismissively of a Democrat he has often singled out as particularly hostile. He also seemed to agree with the song, adding casually: “Lock them all up.”
Tapper went in early and often.
“Don’t you think the president should tone it down when he talks about people who have literally had threats to their lives in this very, very elevated time?” Tapper wondered aloud, pointing out Whitmer’s team has said that violent rhetoric over the governor escalates every time Trump does this. Whitmer also tweeted with the same effect right after Trump made his remarks Saturday.
But Lara Trump declined to say she also receives threats on social media, prompting Tapper to say “I condemn it right now,” and he will ask any Democratic policy to tone it down if they add fuel to the fire. . He pressured her again to see if her father-in-law should lower the temperature.
“He did nothing, I do not think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all,” Trump replied. “He had fun at a Trump rally. And honestly, there are bigger problems than this right now for everyday Americans. ”
“So I think people are frustrated, and look, the president was in a meeting,” she continued. “It’s a fun, light atmosphere. Of course, he did not encourage people to threaten this woman. ”
Tapper quickly shot back, “I don’t think it’s fun to ‘unlock her’.”
The two then engaged in a heated back-and-forth throughout the rest of the interview, with Trump repeatedly sidestepping Tapper’s pointed questions on topics such as Team Trump’s dismissive stance on mask-wearing and the president’s recent negative coronavirus test. It made Tapper grow more and more frustrated by her evasive ability and dependence on Trumpic talking points.
Bringing up Biden’s tribe, Tapper first highlighted a moment from the Democratic National Conference where 13-year-old Brayden Harrington recounted how Biden helped him with his own tribe, as opposed to footage of Trump ridiculing ex-veep to fight to “get” the words out. ”
“How do you think it makes young children with stuttering feel when they see you make such a comment?” Tapper followed up.
Trump, however, claimed she never knew the former vice president had long suffered from a strain – an apology previously used by other Trump allies before repeating the right-wing smear that Biden suffers from “cognitive decline”, and that was what she was talking about.
“I think you spotted his tribe, and I think you have no reputation for judging anyone’s cognitive decline,” Tapper shot back.
“I would think the Trump family would be more sensitive to people who do not have medical licenses and diagnose politicians far away,” he continued as Trump tried to talk about him. “Lots of people have diagnosed your father-in-law far and wide. I’m sure it offends you. You have no status. ”
Trump tried to claim that she did not diagnose Biden, but instead feels that it “concerns many people” to see Biden fight on stage, causing the CNN anchor to finally end the interview.
“I’m sure it came from a place of concern [for Biden], ”He deadpaned. “We all believe that.”