It’s safe to say that CNN’s Jake Tapper was not impressed with the combative performance President Trump gave Thursday in a more than hour-long press conference where he beat on the media and defended his administration.
CNN went directly to Tapper after the press conference ended, and he immediately launched into his critique saying that although they were told it was to be about Alexander Acosta, Trump’s Labor Secretary pick, Trump veered off course quickly.
“He talked about Jim Acosta more than Alexander Acosta,” referring to CNN’s White House correspondent. “He talked about Hillary Clinton more than he talked about Alexander Acosta.”
He spent the first part of his remarks talking about accomplishments he thought the media, the fake media, whatever he wants to call us, were not paying enough attention to. But then, instead of focusing on these accomplishments and offering an optimistic, positive view of what he’s doing for this country, it was an “airing of grievances,” it was “festivus.” It was complaints about the media.
At one point he said the leaks were real, but the news was fake, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He said things that were not true. Peter Alexander from NBC pointed out one of them when he said he had the biggest electoral victory win since Ronald Reagan. That’s not true. Clinton, Clinton, Obama, Obama, George H.W., all were bigger, but moving on from that.
If you are a soldier in harm’s way right now, if you are a hungry child in Appalachia or in the inner city, if you are an unemployed worked in a hollow shell of a steel town, that’s not a president who seemed rather focused on your particular needs and wants. That’s a president focused on his bad press.
“It was unhinged. It was wild,” Tapper concluded.
And I can’t believe that there are Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House who don’t understand that might play well with the 44% of the population that voted for the president, but a lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and think, “that guy is not focused on me, I don’t even know what he’s focused on.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 16, 2017
After visiting some of the other panelists on CNN, they returned to Tapper and he continued his Jeremiad against Trump.
I think everyone at home needs to ask themselves, “how would you react if that were your boss coming in and giving a speech to the employees where you work? How would you react if that was somebody in your family that you were trying to have a conversation with?”
You would think, this is very difficult to assess in a positive way. This person is not dealing with the world in which we live. He said things that weren’t true. He was called out by one reporter, you said you had the biggest electoral victory since Reagan that’s not true. And he said, “well somebody gave me that information. Somebody gave me that information.” The buck stops there? Is that where we are with this presidency?
You said it, own the words. You were wrong. But it’s not just about electoral votes, it’s about the fact that he’s still fixated on whether or not he legitimately won the presidency.
Then he looked in the camera directly to address the president.
“President Trump if you’re watching, you’re the president. You legitimately won the presidency. Now get to work and stop whining about it!”