CNN anchor Jake Tapper and President Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, went toe-to-toe in a 25-minute-long interview on Tuesday that was punctuated by several heated exchanges over the accuracy of statements the president has made and the media’s treatment of Trump.
The tense interview comes after CNN says it declined to have Conway on Tapper’s Sunday show, “State of the Union,” because of concerns over her credibility.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday that CNN had retracted its statement, but the network fired back, saying it stood by its concerns about Conway.
Tapper and Conway did not broach that conflict but touched on several other dustups between the media and the Trump administration that have colored the first few weeks of Trump’s presidency.
Tapper repeatedly sought to hold Conway accountable for the Trump administration dismissing press reports it doesn’t like as fake news.
He noted that Conway has had to apologize for claiming that a massacre took place in Bowling Green, Ky., when in fact it was merely the spot where a couple of would-be terrorists were arrested for hatching a scheme.
“It is difficult to hear criticism from the White House, which has such little regard day in, day out, for facts, for truth and who calls us fake news for stories that they don’t like,” Tapper said.
Conway kept her composure and repeatedly sought to offer an “olive branch” to CNN and other media outlets that have been butting heads with Trump and his aides ever since the campaign.
But she also vented frustration with the coverage the White House gets, insisting it is always negative and that the “palace intrigue” stories about the power dynamics within the administration are almost always false.
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