All three major cable news networks broadcast Donald Trump’s campaign event live from his new hotel in Washington DC on Friday morning, where they expected to hear Trump finally address his past promotion of the “birther” conspiracy theory.
Instead, Trump spent most of the time touting the new hotel and inviting veterans on up to the podium to shower the candidate with praise.
CNN’s Jake Tapper was not amused by this bait-and-switch, and called out the Trump campaign for pulling a “political Rick Roll” on the media.
“It’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rick Roll,” he said, referring to the internet tradition of tricking people into clicking on the music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” “We were told that this was going to be Donald Trump addressing something that his top campaign advisers, people in the Republican National Committee want him to address, and then clear up, and then stop talking about.”
Tapper went on to concede that the move was a savvy manipulation of the media, but he also expressed disgust at its deep cynicism.
“It was very clever on one level,” he said. “On another level, it does speak to the integrity of the Trump campaign.”
Check out the clip below.