CNN host Erin Burnett said Iranians who chant "Death to America" don't seem to really mean such declarations, as she "once" heard the chanting herself in Tehran.
Burnett issued her advisory Thursday during an interview with Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, MRC-TV reported.
What are the details?
The pair were discussing President Donald Trump's assertion that Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani — killed last week by a U.S. airstrike on Trump's orders — had been planning attacks on U.S. embassies, MRC said.
Burnett asked Turner if he's concerned that Trump might divulge classified information with such a statement, and Turner mentioned the "Death to America" chants in his answer, the outlet noted.
"Even on your network, we've seen the video of the ... flames and the smoke that was boiling out of the embassy in Baghdad as a result of the attack that occurred there," Turner told Burnett. "So I don't think reporting or even speculating on what Iran has been threatening ... Iran itself continues to have its entire parliament to chant 'Death to America.' It's not as if it's a surprise that Iran has been coordinating and targeting America interests throughout the Middle East."
Demonstrators in the streets of Tehran chanting "Death to America, death to George Bush."Photo by ESLAMI RAD/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
But Burnett quickly pushed back against Turner, defended Iranian people, and downplayed the chant — making reference to her time there hearing the chant "once."
The voice of 'experience' speaks
"I will say I was in Tehran when they were chanting 'Death to America' once," she noted. "I was at a rally. The people couldn't have been more friendly to me personally as an American. It sort of felt ... like a 'thing' and a trope as opposed to anything that actually was seriously meant and considered. I understand your point, but having been there, my experience was quite different."
Iranians shouted "Death to America" during a 2015 demonstration marking the anniversary of Iranian students taking Americans hostage in 1979.ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images
Turner wasn't convinced.
"Erin, your entire life, Iran … has chanted 'Death to America.' And they have taken actions against Americans, American interests, in ways ... that are lethal, killing Americans, giving weaponry to people who have intentions ... to kill Americans," he responded. "So it's not just a slogan; this obviously is something Iran has systematically continued to do. It's part of their seeking weapons of mass destruction and their claim to want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. These are real threats from the leadership of Iran even though — and I'm glad you had a safe and a warm response — the people on the street may be different than those who are controlling their military."
Burnett replied, "And that is true."