CNN’s Erin Burnett struggled to deal with the audacity of first lady Melania Trump standing by her husband amidst the attacks against him.
Leading with the first lady’s drop in poll numbers, the CNN hosts took on the topic with a panel on “Out Front” Thursday, with Burnett finding it hard to grasp how a woman “stands by her man” when that man is President Donald Trump.
“It’s very clear whose side she’s on,” Burnett declared after airing clips from the first lady’s interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.
“Well, she’s made it very clear,” Burnett noted, “that she is on team Donald Trump, okay?”
Burnett questioned the concept of Mrs. Trump defending the president against media attacks and the “opportunists” surrounding the first family as if it was surprising behavior, even as panelist Stephen Moore came to her defense, saying most Americans “love a woman who stands by her man.”
“She’s on team Trump,” Moore noted.
“That’s what a wife should do and stand by her husband. She does this,” the informal Trump adviser added, sending Burnett into a near spasm. “Look, I think, you talk about civility. She’s been treated so miserably by the media in terms of the harsh treatment of her.”
The flabbergasted CNN host could hardly hide her contempt as Moore delivered an impassioned defense of the first lady.
“I’ve met Melania Trump. I love the lady. I think she’s elegant. She’s classy. She’s like a new Jackie Kennedy in the White House,” Moore said, causing panelist Maria Cardona’s eyebrows to shoot up. “I just don’t understand. It’s one thing to not like Donald Trump, but to blame his behavior on her, I think, is just very unfair, frankly.”
Burnett seemed stuck on the topic and asked Cardona, “Is that what Americans want to see, a woman who stands by her man?”
“Not if that man is Donald Trump,” the Democratic strategist declared, laughing. “And it could be that that is completely unfair to her, because, you know, this is the — she’s married to him and again, I don’t think she wanted this role. We see that she’s very reluctant to be first lady.”
While the discussion turned for a few moments to the effectiveness of Mrs. Trump’s bullying campaign, Burnett returned to the topic she continued to struggle with.
“There’s so many complex layers to all of it, Steve,” she said. “When you say stand by your man, I’m assuming you’d say the same thing if the roles were reversed, you’d want a man to stand by his woman. I’m going to assume that.”
“Isn’t that what a wife should do and a husband should do the same,” Moore responded. “I want my wife to stand by me.”
“I hope you stand by her just the same. That’s all I’m saying. It shouldn’t be a gender thing,” Burnett concluded.
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