CNN Gives Liberal Activist Forum to Bash Trump with No Liberal Label

On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Alisyn Camerota hosted a segment featuring a member of the liberal veterans group VoteVets.org -- known for supporting the election of Democrats in past elections and even labeling itself as "progressive" -- who published an open later attacking GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump over his reaction to Khizr Khan's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Without divulging that her guest, Karen Meredith, worked for a group heavily slanted toward the liberal persuasion, Camerota gave her a sympathetic forum to complain about Trump and the reaction to him by other Republicans.

At 6:49 a.m. ET, Camerota plugged the segment before a commercial break:

Gold Star families voicing five-star anger at Donald Trump demanding an apology in an open letter for his attacks on those parents of that fallen Muslim-American war hero. The mother behind the letter joins us next.

Referring to the group who signed the letter merely as "Gold Star families," the CNN host opened the segment by reading the anti-Trump letter:

This morning, nearly thirty Gold Star families are demanding an apology from Donald Trump through an open letter addressed to him, saying, quote, "Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant and personally offensive to us. When you question a mother's pain, by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us. When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice."

The CNN host made no mention ot the group's left-wing slant as she further introduced Meredith and fellow guest Cheryl Lankford, who is the widow of a veteran.

The letter was organized by Karen Meredith, a Gold Star mother who serves as a military affairs coordinator for VoteVets.org. She also joins us now along with Gold Star wife Cheryl Lankford, who signed the letter. Ladies, thank you so much for being here. ... It's great to have both of you. We're so sorry for your loss, and we're grateful for your sacrifice. Karen, why did you want to send a letter to Donald Trump?

As Trump was accused of attacking all veterans with his comments, the closest Camerota came to pushing back against the views of her guests was when she played a clip of a woman from a military family who confronted GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence in front of an audience, and the response that the Indiana Republican gave to her in which he defended Trump. Pence:

Having spent time with our nominee, I have never been around someone more devoted to the armed forces of this country, more devoted to the families of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard, and no one more devoted to the veterans in this country.

After getting Lankford's response to Pence, Camerota turned back to Meredith and fretted over the woman asking the question being booed by the audience as the CNN host followed up:

Karen, what about the response of the crowd to that mom? You know, they booed her before Mike Pence silenced them. What was that about?

Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Tuesday, August 2, New Day on CNN:

6:49 a.m. ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Gold Star families voicing five-star anger at Donald Trump demanding an apology in an open letter for his attacks on those parents of that fallen Muslim-American war hero. The mother behind the letter joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: This morning, nearly thirty Gold Star families are demanding an apology from Donald Trump through an open letter addressed to him, saying, quote, "Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant and personally offensive to us. When you question a mother's pain, by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us. When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice."

The letter was organized by Karen Meredith, a Gold Star mother who serves as a military affairs coordinator for VoteVets.org. She also joins us now along with Gold Star wife Cheryl Lankford, who signed the letter. Ladies, thank you so much for being here. ... It's great to have both of you. We're so sorry for your loss, and we're grateful for your sacrifice. Karen, why did you want to send a letter to Donald Trump?

KAREN MEREDITH, VOTEVETS.ORG: Well, watching the Khan family speak at the convention was really uplifting for so many Gold Star families because it was probably the first time many people had heard what a Gold -- even the term of Gold Star. But the immediate reaction from Donald Trump when he questioned that about the sacrifice just cut to my heart. And on social media, all the Gold Star families I normally communicate with had a high level of anxiety and hurt and anger and pain, and I thought, "We've got to do something. Our voices are worth something. If we don't say something, then people will think it's okay for Trump to talk that way."

CAMEROTA: I know that you said that after he made those comments about Mr. Khan that you said that you haven't cried like that in a long time. What did it bring up for you?

MEREDITH: Well, it opened the wounds. It's been 12 years. My son was killed one week before Captain Khan was killed. We are in the same row at Arlington. So I see his grave every time I go to Arlington, and it just brought me back. It was just so upsetting and so offensive that somebody could say words like that and disrespect a family that has given so much to this country, and I don't think that Donald Trump is capable of understanding why it's offensive, and I don't think that makes him a good fit for Commander-in-Chief.

CAMEROTA: Cheryl, why did you want to sign this letter?

CHERYL LANKFORD: I wanted to sign it to be in solidarity with the rest of the parents, with the rest of the wives, with the rest of the family members, to let them know that, "Hey, when you come after one of us, you've come after all of us." 

CAMEROTA: After your letter was published, there was this moment on the campaign trail yesterday where a military mom stood up and confronted VP nominee Mike Pence. Let me play for you that moment.

CATHERINE BYRNE, MILITARY MOTHER: Time and time again, Trump has disrespected our nation's armed forces and veterans. And his disrespect for Mr. Khan and his family is just an example of that. (boos from audience) Will there ever be -- will there ever be a point in time when you're able to look at Trump in the eye and tell him that enough is enough. You have a son in the military. How do you tolerate his disrespect?

MIKE PENCE, GOP VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, CLIP #1: It's all right. It's all right. Folks, that's what freedom looks like, and that's what freedom sounds like.

PENCE, CLIP #2: Having spent time with our nominee, I have never been around someone more devoted to the armed forces of this country, more devoted to the families of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard, and no one more devoted to the veterans in this country.

CAMEROTA: Cheryl, what did you think of Mike Pence's response there?

LANKFORD: I was shocked to hear him say that, knowing that he also served on the defense, on the armed forces services. He served himself -- he was on that committee with men and women whose job it was to oversee that area. And now he's saying that as being part of that committee. Now, he says that Donald Trump is more devoted and more patriotic than the people that he served with as Senator. It just took me aback to hear him say something like that.

CAMEROTA: Karen, what about the response of the crowd to that mom? You know, they booed her before Mike Pence silenced them. What was that about?

MEREDITH: I don't know. I just -- it's shocking to me that people feel that they can say something like that to a mother of a soldier or a troop. It's -- the discourse in the country has been amazing, and it seems like the Trump campaign gives people permission to be offensive.

CAMEROTA: I know you're calling for an apology from Mr. Trump. Have you heard from the campaign?

MEREDITH: As far as I know, we haven't. And Mr. Trump has said that he does not apologize, so I'm not expecting one. But I am expecting what the mother asked for: Are you ever going to call him and tell him enough is enough? So far, the leadership, the Republican leadership has called or has responded to the family of -- the Khan family and expressed their opinion that their son was a hero and "thank you for serving," but notoby has told Trump enough is enough. And that's what I'm looking for. If you don't say something, then it means you're okay with it. And apparently the Republican leadership is okay with his behavior and his denigration of the troops.

CAMEROTA: We'll see what happens today as a result of your letter. Karen Meredith, Cheryl Lankford, thank you very much, ladies. We appreciate you being here.


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