Karem, Ryan Hijack Segment on Melania’s Surgery to Bemoan President’s Tweets, Lack of Press Conferences

Trump Derangement Syndrome can really take a toll on people. Unfortunately, that was evident on Monday’s CNN Tonight as CNN political analysts and White House Briefing Room rabble-rousers Brian Karem and April Ryan hijacked a segment meant to discuss First Lady Melania Trump’s surgery to whine about the President’s tweeting habits and his refusal to hold press conferences.

Most telling throughout this segment were the facial expressions from chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta and White House reporter Kate Bennett with both seemingly somewhere between mortified and uncomfortable at the callous behavior from their colleagues.

 

 

Host Don Lemon initially wasn’t that interested either, not so much offering a question to Ryan as making an attempt to cast doubt on how much the President cared about the First Lady. Lemon observed that he tweeted about Melania’s procedure “after first taking time to send a tweet trashing leakers” and only “going to Walter Reed following the procedure.”

Ryan noted how the First Lady’s office only put out word at 3:11 p.m. Eastern because, all the while, the President was having a seemingly normal day with a full agenda. That led Ryan to tacitly call into question his commitment and concern for the First Lady (click “expand” to see the nonsense):

Well, you know, we received the e-mail from the First Lady's office at 3:11 p.m. and I'm sure everyone, like myself, and I heard Kate say it, we were all kind of shocked. But, you know, this President this morning, today he watched the unveiling of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. He called James Shaw, Jr., the hero from the Nashville Waffle House and, you know, he did all that and we didn't know anything and then he was tweeting, he was being normal. He was being the normal President that we know. Tweeting, trashing the leakers and stuff and then when it comes out, that's when we hear! This President is unique in the way he handles things, but he does things. I mean, he's unique but he also stays true to himself. You know, I mean, anything can happen and it's like he focuses — he has a laser focus on that and we’ve heard he did call the First Lady this morning and he checked in with doctors. But still the day was going on, and then after it was announced he focused attention. It's just he's very interesting. We've never seen anything like this before. But he did go, he did go to see her.

Thankfully, Lemon and Bennett stepped in to put Ryan in her place. Lemon first emphasized that Monday included “the opening of an embassy” so the President had a lot of “things he had to do” since, “he's the president of the United States” and thus a “very busy” guy.

Bennett had more to say, pointing out that everyone should think about this story “from the First Lady’s perspective” because, based on her best guess, the surgery “was her call” and “[m]aybe she didn't want him there in terms of what that would bring, and more motorcade, and a press pool, and way more security because she is intensely private.”

“Certainly, I would imagine this is something especially as it was preplanned and not an emergency, the family, including the President has been well aware of, and I would imagine he would, whether he liked it or not, respect her wishes not to be there for the surgery, not to draw more attention, but it is,” she added.

Despite that, Karem still didn’t get the message. He briefly offered his “best and prayers with the First Lady” because “she has weathered quite a few storms and her office reacts quite professionally most days.” 

From there, however, he dispatched with the First Lady and got on his high horse about how the President is not only the White House’s biggest leaker, but has no interest in bringing the American people together or telling the truth.

Here’s portions of Karem’s deranged and out-of-place rant (click “expand” to see more):

[Y]ou saw the contrast in the two offices and how they react to the things today and you go back to the President's tweet before he tweeted about his wife about leakers and such, and how he’s going to — look, the biggest leaker is the President of the United States and that has shown in everything he's done...[T]he very first promise this President made was to bring this country together at a very divisive time, and he has not done that and why? Because he won't tell us the truth. He will not tell the American people the truth. Some people are fine with that, and some people are not fine with that.....You can't even deal with the politics of this President because you can't get past the fact he won't tell the truth and secondly and probably the most important thing I have to ask is, will the President of the United States have the courage to show up in his own pressroom and take questions from the press? He's had one open press conference in a year and a half, and he needs to be accountable to the American people, and he needs to answer our questions.

To see the relevant transcript from May 14's CNN Tonight, click “expand.”

CNN Tonight
May 14, 2018
10:08 p.m. Eastern

DON LEMON: April to you now. I want to put up one of the President's tweets he tweeted today. He said, “Heading over to the Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers.” So, he tweeted that after first taking time to send a tweet trashing leakers and I want to your reaction to today’s news and the President going to Walter Reed following the procedure.

APRIL RYAN: Well, you know, we received the e-mail from the First Lady's office at 3:11 p.m. and I'm sure everyone, like myself, and I heard Kate say it, we were all kind of shocked. But, you know, this President this morning, today he watched the unveiling of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. He called James Shaw, Jr., the hero from the Nashville Waffle House and, you know, he did all that and we didn't know anything and then he was tweeting, he was being normal. He was being the normal President that we know. Tweeting, trashing the leakers and stuff and then when it comes out, that's when we hear! This President is unique in the way he handles things, but he does things. I mean, he's unique but he also stays true to himself. You know, I mean, anything can happen and it's like he focuses — he has a laser focus on that and we’ve heard he did call the First Lady this morning and he checked in with doctors. But still the day was going on, and then after it was announced he focused attention. It's just he's very interesting. We've never seen anything like this before. 

LEMON: But listen —

RYAN: But he did go, he did go to see her.

LEMON: — yeah, the opening of an embassy and the things he had to do today. I mean, listen, he's the president of the United States, he’s very busy. And also, Kate —

RYAN: But that is the First Lady of the United States as well.

LEMON: — yes. Before I get to Brian, though, but Kate, she’s intensely private and the West Wing and the East Wing, they operate completely separately and completely differently. The East Wing did not leak. No one told us until it was released.

KATE BENNETT: Right, exactly. I think it's an important point we maybe think about this from the First Lady's perspective, not just the President's perspective. This very well — and I believe from the actions we’ve seen from her before have been, this was her call. Maybe she didn't want him there in terms of what that would bring, and more motorcade, and a press pool, and way more security because she is intensely private. Certainly, I would imagine this is something especially as it was preplanned and not an emergency, the family, including the President has been well aware of, and I would imagine he would, whether he liked it or not, respect her wishes not to be there for the surgery, not to draw more attention, but it is. She is intensely private and certainly it's amazing when you think about it, the First Lady of the United States had a medical procedure that allowed her to be hospitalized and no one said a peep about it until after she was out of this procedure. I find that — in the juxtaposition of the two sides of the building pretty remarkable.

LEMON: Go ahead Brian, what did you want to say?

RYAN: But Don, she’s — real quick —

LEMON: Hold on here, April. I need to get Brian in, sorry.

RYAN: Okay.

BRIAM KAREM: I’m sorry, look. First of all, our best and prayers with the First Lady. She has weathered quite a few storms, and her office reacts quite professionally on most days. Much more so than I would say the West Wing does and so, you saw the contrast in the two offices and how they react to the things today and you go back to the President's tweet before he tweeted about his wife about leakers and such, and how he’s going to — look, the biggest leaker is the President of the United States and that has shown in everything he's done and at this point in time, Don, I really just have two questions left for the President of the United States in that pressroom. One, you know, like, Jared came out today and, of course, I believe Raj also from the pressroom said: “This President keeps his promises.” That's not true. On this very level, he — the very first promise this President made was to bring this country together at a very divisive time, and he has not done that and why? Because he won't tell us the truth. He will not tell the American people the truth. Some people are fine with that, and some people are not fine with that. So my question to the President of the United States, the one I have is: Will you please just tell us the truth? I feel like I'm talking to my child. I'm back trying to raise my children, saying: “Don't pour water in my ear and tell me it's raining. Everything is okay if you tell me the truth and we can deal with it there.” You can't even deal with the politics of this President because you can't get past the fact he won't tell the truth and secondly and probably the most important thing I have to ask is, will the President of the United States have the courage to show up in his own pressroom and take questions from the press? He's had one open press conference in a year and a half, and he needs to be accountable to the American people, and he needs to answer our questions.

LEMON: Well, let's discuss that more. We're going to have Brian and April back. Sanjay, thank you. Kate, thank you. I appreciate your time. Thanks for your expertise. Brian, and April, again stick around.


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