On CNN Wednesday, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that White House officials are backing down from their attacks on top public health official Dr. Anthony Fauci, following an op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro attacking his judgment.
"After days of attacks, Dr. Anthony Fauci has had enough and he is firing back," said Acosta. "He is describing the attacks on him as a, quote, 'major mistake' on the part of the White House, and White House officials are jumping into damage control mode, insisting that aides across the West Wing are not happy with trade adviser Peter Navarro, saying he violated instructions from Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who had warned staffers to stop going after Fauci."
"After waging a campaign to discredit one of the nation's most trusted experts on the coronavirus ... the White House appears to be waving the white flag, at least for now," said Acosta. "President Trump and his top aides are now backing off on their attacks of Fauci, but only after Peter Navarro blasted Fauci in a USA TODAY op-ed. Asked about that, the president all but accused him of going rogue."
"Now, White House officials are trying to distance themselves from Navarro, with one top aide saying in a tweet, 'the Peter Navarro op-ed is the opinion of Peter alone. The president values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his administration,'" said Acosta. "One White House official went further, saying Navarro had been told by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to de-escalate the situation with Fauci, but that he violated those instructions by writing the op-ed anyway."