Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) made headlines when he grilled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on a supposed quote from acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney, but it turns out he was misleading everyone about the quote.
"Donald Trump's chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the Conservative Political Action Conference that the coronavirus was the hoax of the day. Do you agree with Donald Trump's chief of staff that the coronavirus is the hoax of the day?" asked Lieu.
"The State Department is doing everything it can to protect American citizens from around the world," responded Pompeo.
"Do you believe coronavirus is a hoax of the day?" interrupted Lieu.
"I'm not gonna comment on what others are saying," said Pompeo, who appeared to be losing patience with the question.
"Do you believe the coronavirus is a hoax?" asked Lieu.
"It's a gotcha moment, it's not useful," Pompeo responded.
While the interaction has been used by left-wing media outlets to make it appear as if Pompeo might possibly believe the coronavirus was a hoax, CNN's Jake Tapper unraveled the false premise behind the question by Lieu.
"That's not what Mulvaney said," tweeted Tapper.
"Mulvaney said at CPAC today that 5-6 weeks ago, the admin. held coronavirus briefings on the Hill and only 5 senators & 10-15 congressmen showed up," added Tapper, and quoting Mulvaney, who said, "We were dealing with it. The press was covering their hoax of the day."
Mulvaney was in fact criticizing the media for ignoring the briefings in order to cover the impeachment, which he called the "hoax of the day."
Tapper then criticized Mulvaney for his rebuke of the media. "It's preposterous to assert that by covering an impeachment and impeachment trial of the president the media was covering our 'hoax of the day,'" he added in a third tweet.
Lieu went on to call Pompeo "shameful" for himself going to speak at CPAC on the same day that he gave only giving two hours of time to testify before Congress.