A new poll released this week shows a “shockingly high number” of Americas believe President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. The number was so shocking that CNN’s Jake Tapper ended his Wednesday show talking about the danger of the fake news industry.
The accusations from Trump came “after a long, frustrating week for the president at the end of which he out of nowhere began a succession of tweets,” Tapper said.
The Trump Twitter meltdown has become somewhat routine, but like the accusations before them, these too were proven to have been made up by Trump.
“If it’s defined as ‘making wild accusations without evidence,’ the only thing that was McCarthyism were the tweets,” Tapper said. “Any evidence Speaker of the House Paul Ryan?”
Not only has no evidence been provided by the White House, the House Intelligence Committee hasn’t seen evidence and nor has James Comey.
“I have no information that supports those tweets,” Tapper confessed. “We have looked carefully.”
And that would have been it, “except that the president and his team kept pushing ways to try to make this evidence-free claim somewhere sort of possibly in the neighborhood of almost not entirely false,” he continued. “They failed. But they muddied the waters quite a bit.”
According to the numbers, 52 percent of Republicans believe Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped him. “A charge that there is literally no evidence to support,” Tapper noted, saying that it is the definition of fake news.
“Look, this is America. You can believe whatever you want to believe. Eighteen percent of the public says they have seen or been in the presence of a ghost. Whatever. In a thriving democracy, truth matters. Facts matter. We learned in the campaign that Donald Trump can be cavalier about facts and truth,” he said.
Tapper also noted that in the first 100 days we’ve learned Trump isn’t about to change anytime soon.
“Some in the government and some in conservative media will work to make his falsehoods seem true,” he continued. But he also argued that there is incendiary “fake news” against President Trump on the left as well.
“Both in progressive media and all over Twitter, being retweeted by otherwise sensible folks,” Tapper said. “This is a time for all journalists to be extra careful about our own reporting, to make sure we adhere to facts and cogent analysis. This is the time to demand evidence from your leaders and from your media, even if you already agree with the politics of the person on your TV.”
Watch his full commentary below: