The day after his epic takedown of Donald Trump senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, CNN’s Jake Tapper spoke with the Daily Beast about the impact of the president’s declared war on the press.
Tapper hammered Conway Tuesday in a contentious interview that touched on a multitude of lies coming from the Trump administration, including the president’s insistence that “the very dishonest press” is refusing to cover terror attacks.
“Politicians say things that are not true all the time,” Tapper told the Daily Beast. “Sometimes it’s out of ignorance, sometimes it’s purposeful deception, sometimes they’re selling something and they hope what they’re saying is true, but it turns out not to be true."
"This didn’t start with Donald Trump," Tapper reasoned, but he added “there sure seems to be an effort” by the president to “discredit all media except for supportive outlets."
Noting the Trump administration's tendency to dub negative or unflattering reports as “fake news," Tapper said, "To further bolster their argument, they are very clearly stating things that are demonstrably false—and saying we, the media, are not reporting on them."
The CNN host said the administration uses CNN"s “refusal to report things that are not true as an example of how we are fake news," referring to a list of “underreported terror attacks” the White House released Monday that included widely-covered events in Paris, Nice and San Bernardino.
“The reason why it matters is because this is a campaign to discredit people who are trying to hold an administration accountable—which is our job,” Tapper told the Daily Beast. “This is not to say that media in the last three months have not made any mistakes… But to focus on everything that’s ever been reported about him as fake news has a debasing effect and corrosive effect on what journalists do. And it’s unhealthy for democracy.”
Tapper said he finds it "challenging" to cover the Trump administration.
“It becomes difficult to cover when one has to point out that the president is telling falsehoods,” Tapper said. “It’s not fun, but I wouldn’t call it exhausting."