CNN Tries, Fails to Get U.S. Soldier to Condemn Trump

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For her latest assignment, that aired on Monday's CNN Newsroom, Clarissa Ward was in Ukraine talking to various people about their reaction President Trump's since-reversed decision to put U.S. military aid to that country on hold. However, not all of the people Ward talked to were private citizens. Two, one American and one Ukrainian, were active duty officers, but unfortunately for Ward both refused to give the viral soundbite that she clearly wanted.

Ward asked U.S. Army Captain Matthew Chapman, who is deployed to Ukraine to help train Ukranian soldiers for their fight against Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country, "Can I ask what your reaction was when you heard that military aid had been frozen to Ukraine?" Chapman naturally declined, "Personally, I don't pay attention to U.S. domestic foreign policy or politics while I'm here. We're solely focused on the mission at hand."

 

 

Instead of respectfully taking that answer, Ward tried again to entice Chapman to break with the chain of command, "And it didn't create an awkward atmosphere at all with your Ukrainian fellow soldiers?" but Chapman didn't budge, reiterating, "It has not even come up in conversation."

Chapman's Ukrainian counterpart, Lieutenant Nazar Shpak agreed, "You know, I don't like to speak about politics. My mission and my main role is to protect my land, my country. That's all I want and it's all I know for myself." Ward tried to get Shpak to condemn Trump as an unreliable ally, "Do you believe that America is an ally, Ukraine can rely on?" Not waiting for Ward to finish the question, Shpak replied, "Completely is. Completely is."

Ward, through a voiceover, concluded the pre-recorded portion of the segment saying, "Privately some Ukrainian soldiers admit to feeling uneasy. They fear that the White House's fickle behavior may strengthen Russia's position. But all agree that with or without America's help, they have no choice but to continue this fight." 

It was not Ward's first trip to a foreign country for the purpose of finding an anti-Trump soundbite, but this time she repeatedly and irresponsibly tried to get it from active duty soldiers, people whom she clearly should have known do not want to be pawns to advance CNN's agenda. 

Here is a transcript for the November 4 show:

CNN

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

10:37 AM ET

CLARISSA WARD [VOICEOVER]: Ukraine’s president is trying to make that happen, but peace is negotiated from a position of strength and having the U.S. as an ally is key. In the west of the country, far from the front lines, Ukrainian forces carry out military exercises under the watchful eye of their American trainer. 

MATTHEW CHAPMAN: They'll be engaging targets and shooting. 

WARD [VOICEOVER}: Captain Matthew Chapman has been working with this unit for two months.

WARD: Can I ask what your reaction was when you heard that military aid had been frozen to Ukraine? 

CHAPMAN: Personally, I don't pay attention to U.S. domestic foreign policy or politics while I'm here. We're solely focused on the mission at hand. 

WARD: And it didn't create an awkward atmosphere at all with your Ukrainian fellow soldiers? 

CHAPMAN: It has not even come up in conversation with our OCs. 

WARD [VOICEOVER]: His Ukrainian counterpart agrees. 

NAZAR SHPAK: You know, I don't like to speak about politics. My mission and my main role is to protect my land, my country. That's all I want and it's all I know for myself. 

WARD: Do you believe that America is an ally, Ukraine can rely on? 

SHPAK: Completely is. Completely is. 

WARD [VOICEOVER]: Privately some Ukrainian soldiers admit to feeling uneasy. They fear that the White House's fickle behavior may strengthen Russia's position. But all agree that with or without America's help, they have no choice but to continue this fight. 

WARD: When you talk to Ukrainian soldiers and also civilians, there's a sense that this isn't just about winning the war. This is about trying to win the peace. And for that, they also say they need the support of the U.S. They need the leverage that having the U.S.'s support gives them at the negotiating table when it comes to sitting down with someone like president Vladimir Putin. Jim, Poppy. 

 

 

 
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