Trump supporter Steve Cortes on Thursday tried to defend President Donald Trump’s contention that “people coming into the country” are “animals” — but he got cornered by a CNN host who wasn’t buying his spin.
Like other Trump supporters, Cortes said that the president was only referring to MS-13 gang members as “animals” and not undocumented immigrants as a whole.
However, CNN’s John Berman pointed out to him that the president has made broadly inflammatory attacks on immigrants in the past, including when he said that most immigrants coming over from Mexico were “rapists” during his infamous campaign launch event in 2015.
Cortes, however, argued that these were just parts of Trump’s “authenticity” and evidence that he didn’t “speak in a lawyerly fashion.”
At this point, Berman pounced.
“So we should believe him then, according to you, he’s being authentic when he’s calling Mexicans coming over the border rapists, right?” he asked. “If he’s authentic as you say, do we take him at his word, yes or no?”
“Are there rapists and murderers who come across illegally? Yes,” Cortes replied.
Co-host Poppy Harlow, however, called out Cortes for dodging the question.
“You can’t dance around the question,” she said. “You said the president is being authentic here. John’s question to you is, okay, so we take him at his word when he says they are drug dealers, they are rapists coming into the country? Yes or no?”
“Do drug dealers and rapists cross the border? Yes, absolutely they do,” he said.
“That’s not my question and you know it,” she shot back.
Watch the video below.
Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.
"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"
"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."
Trump is getting a ‘no-confidence vote from financial markets’ over erratic coronavirus response: CNN’s Harwood
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank once again in early trading on Thursday amid concerns about how the spread of the coronavirus will impact the economy.
CNN's John Harwood on Thursday said that President Donald Trump's efforts to calm markets by appointing Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the government's coronavirus response had clearly flopped, as the Dow dropped by more than 700 points in early trading.
"What you have seen today and last night, when Dow futures fell while that press conference was going, on is a no confidence vote from financial markets," Harwood said. "You have the president appointing Mike Pence saying he's good on health -- we all remember that as governor of Indiana, he struggled to cope with a public health crisis on HIV by delaying needle exchanges. That had real consequences in terms of lives lost, so the administration has not gotten its act together."
NYT reporter reveals the stunning reason Trump believed coronavirus would disappear next month
On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that President Donald Trump is angry about his administration's coronavirus response — in part because he misunderstood what the experts told him about the disease and thought they meant it was going to go away soon.
"The president has been very frustrated with the public messaging of this from his administration, but not for the reasons that people necessarily think," said Haberman. "It's because there were experts who were saying one thing from the CDC, which was that there is this problem growing, and then he was trying to tamp this down in his own comments, and he keeps saying something that, as I understand it, is a misinterpretation of what he was told in a briefing, which was that viruses tend to decrease in numbers in terms of spread during warmer weather. He has taken that and put his own spin on it which is, it's going to stop by April. He's been telling people that for a while."