CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta confronted Breitbart reporter Charlie Spiering about why the conservative media refused to “accept the facts” instead of reflexively defending false statements made by President Donald Trump.
During a Newseum panel discussion about covering the presidency, Acosta noted that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has a difficult job because he is forced to defend false statements like the assertion that President Barack Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower.
“Intelligence tells us at this point that there wasn’t even any unlawful surveillance going on and that [former National Security Adviser] Susan Rice didn’t do anything wrong,” Acosta said. “The level of exhaustion that he must be feeling right now having to deal with this president.”
Spiering argued that Acosta’s attitude was what was “infuriating” to readers at Breitbart because he was “so willing to exonerate Susan Rice.”
“They take a completely hostile tone towards the president,” Spiering said of CNN. “When it comes to people like Susan Rice, they are not taking the same tone of hostility. And a lot of the news they publish on that, I think a lot of our readers see that as coming from one side.”
“They are getting more of their talking points, a good portion of their sources from their Democratic friends,” he continued. “They didn’t vote for the president… I think there is a difference in tone coming from the mainstream media vs. Breitbart.”
Acosta replied with a question: “Do you think when the president originally tweeted that ‘Barack Obama wiretapped me at Trump Tower. It’s like McCarthy. It’s like Watergate.’ Do you think in the back of his mind he was thinking, ‘Oh yeah, Susan Rice, she unmasked some people and that’s what I really meant when I tweeted that’?”
“My question is, why can’t the folks on the conservative side of the news media just see the facts as they are?” Acosta wondered. “I mean, don’t you agree, Charlie, that those tweet on their face are just wrong? The president was not wiretapped at Trump Tower by Barack Obama?”
Spiering, however, insisted that there was an “element of truth that comes from his tweets.”
“We’re not talking about an element of truth,” Acosta interrupted. “How about just the truth. Why can’t we just have the truth? That’s my question.”
Watch the video below from C-SPAN, broadcast April 12, 2017.
Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China
Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.
Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.
Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs
President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.
At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.
But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.
"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.
Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan
Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.
Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.
It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.
"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.