A former Trump official fired back against claims that he bailed on a CNN interview because he was unable to defend President Trump after his meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Former National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton revealed that he actually canceled a scheduled appearance because of CNN’s “atrocious” coverage of Trump’s joint press conference with the Russian president in Helsinki, Finland.
CNN host Erin Burnett accused Anton of skipping the interview on Monday, noting his absence as she introduced a panel on “Out Front” to discuss the press conference.
“I want to note there is not another person on the screen. Michael Anton was going to be here,” Burnett told viewers. “He cancelled, and he knows I am going to tell you this, because he said he could not defend the president on his actions today.”
She also took to Twitter to make the same claim, as did “Out Front.”
Michael Anton, Former Trump NSC spox, cancelled his appearance on Outfront tonight because he couldn’t defend @realDonaldTrump today.
— Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) July 16, 2018
We had Michael Anton, former Trump NSC spokesman, pre-booked and confirmed for a week. His rep then canceled him late afternoon today explaining that Mr. Anton could not defend the President on his press conference with Putin. No threats were ever made.
— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) July 17, 2018
But Anton refuted Burnett’s version in a statement.
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) July 17, 2018
Anton’s words did nothing to help the perception of CNN as the bastion of “fake news.”
Wow @CNN Just wow
— Downtown Fairy (@Downtownfairy) July 17, 2018
You mean the media mischaracterized why he didn’t come on so they could further their narrative?! No way!
— Concerned Conservative (@JJ_Mitch2) July 17, 2018
As usual. They are always #fakenews.
— SHELIA MANNING (@PGRSHELIA) July 17, 2018
The president set off a firestorm of backlash Monday when he appeared to side with Putin and against his own intelligence agencies, refusing to condemn Russian election interference while condemning the special counsel probe.
Outrageous attacks on Trump followed the press conference from media outlets, commentators and even politicians. Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump “treasonous” and even House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a strong statement in contradiction to Trump’s stance in Helsinki.
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