On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta gave Wolf Blitzer a harsh assessment of President Donald Trump’s attempts to disown the chants of “Send Her Back!” directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his rally in North Carolina the previous day.
“President Trump is now gaslighting his way out of the mess he started with his racist tweets,” said Acosta. “Today, the president claimed he tried to put a stop to the ‘Send Her Back!’ chants coming from his crowd in North Carolina last night, but that’s not true. Unlike the president, the video doesn’t lie.”
“President Trump is finding out there’s no going back after ‘Send Her Back!'” Acosta continued in a voiceover. “The president tried to fudge his way around accusations that he didn’t do enough to stop chants of ‘Send Her Back!’ aimed at Congresswoman Omar at his rally in North Carolina.” He played a clip of Trump saying, “I felt a little bit badly about it, but I will say this, I did — and I started speaking very quickly.”
“But that’s not true. Watch the video. The president paused and allowed the chants to continue for a full 13 seconds as he attacked Omar.” He played a clip of Trump accusing her of “vicious, anti-Semitic screeds,” and pausing to let the crowd roar.
Even though Trump is now trying to pretend it was all the crowd’s idea, Acosta noted, “the crowd was essentially echoing the president’s racist tweet from earlier in the week, when he told four Democratic women of color to go back to where they came from. Asked a second time about the chant, the president praised his audience and then blasted the congresswomen once again.”
“These are people who love our country,” said Trump in the clip. “I want them to keep loving our country, and I think the congresswomen, by the way, should be more positive than they are. The congresswomen have a lot of problems.”
“But the president’s targets aren’t holding back, either,” said Acosta, playing clips of the Democratic congresswomen he attacked.
“I believe he is fascist,” said Omar. “This is not about me. This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be and what it deserves to be.”
“His rhetoric is endangering people,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). “It’s not just about threats to individual members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country.”
Trump aide Cuccinelli snaps after CNN’s Camerota shows him pictures of caged kids: ‘I’m not going to take that’
A CNN interview with acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli took a contentious turn on Friday morning after host Alisyn Camerota showed him pictures of immigrant children being held in cages and asked him why he would want to hold them even longer based upon a recent policy change he instituted.
As the CNN host pressed the Trump administration official on plans to hold children indefinitely, she put pictures of the kids in cages up on the screen which angered Cuccinelli.
"On one level it protects children, but it also exposes children to the overcrowding. Here's some of the roll we've been playing for months," she began, only to have the White House official cut her off.
Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.
"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.
"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."
‘It is all crazy’: CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin goes off on people who try to insist Trump’s rants are just jokes
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scorned the idea from President Donald Trump's defenders that rants like his recent anointment of himself as "the chosen one" are made in jest, for entertainment value.
"One of the strange things about President Trump is that nobody has ever seen him laugh, like a full laugh on camera," said Toobin. "Think about it. You never see it. And this notion of explaining crazy things he says as jokes is not — that is just not true. He does not joke. When he said 'Russia, you know, I want you to find Hillary Clinton's emails,' they tried to explain it as a joke. It wasn't. Russia went right to work trying to find Hillary's emails."