Kellyanne Conway blasted Jake Tapper in a heated showdown as she accused the CNN anchor of grandstanding to get his words to “go viral.”
The White House counselor took the network to task for the excessive coverage it has focused on the topic of porn star Stormy Daniels and her lawsuit against the president, with Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti appearing on CNN over 50 times in the last two months.
“A lot of Americans agree and you know I hear from people who vote for Donald Trump regularly that they just want the guy to be able to have the space to do his job,” Conway told Tapper on “Face the Nation” Sunday. “And his job includes saying that the Iran nuclear deal was a bad deal from the beginning.”
“Do you think his job includes lying to the American people?” Tapper asked. “Because he continually does so, and he undermines his administration by doing so.”
Conway torched Tapper for his swagger.
“You just want that to go viral,” she accused. “And you want to say ‘President Trump’ and ‘lying’ in the same sentence.”
“No, I would like him to stop lying, quite frankly,” Tapper replied.
Conway pointed Tapper to things that “don’t lie” like the 20,000 new jobs Apple announced in January, but he interrupted her.
“I understand you don’t want to talk about the president’s credibility,” he said.
“I already talked about it for five minutes,” Conway replied, as Tapper continued to spin everything she said into a commentary on the president’s ability to tell the truth.
Tapper seemed stuck on the issue, continually dismissing other topics Conway seemed ready to discuss, like the economy and the unfolding progress with North Korea.
“But, Kellyanne, this week, the White House really started to lose the support of conservatives who want to support the president, who believe in President Trump,” he said, citing a Wall Street Journal report that claimed Trump’s lying is eroding pubic confidence in him.
“This is directly because of him not telling the truth, not being straight with the American people about this payment.
And, in addition, we have had people on FOX News Channel who are generally very supportive of the president saying to the president, to the television screen, you have to tell the truth. Stop doing this. You are eroding credibility,” Tapper said. “As the counselor to the president, aren’t you concerned about this?”
“This was a fast-moving exchange. I asked the president what he meant. And he said, ‘I didn’t know about it when the payment occurred,” Conway responded, referring to Trump reportedly reimbursing his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for the $130,000 payment made to Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. “I think you are overcomplicating that very simple point.”
“Everybody has an idea about how the president should — how he should speak, how he should answer, the words he should have used,” Conway said.
“Honestly. He should speak honestly,” Tapper replied.
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