PANIC: CNN Throws Fit Over Daily Caller, Reuters Reporters Not Hammering Trump on Cohen

On Monday afternoon, CNN went into full-blown panic mode directing anger and bitterness at the Daily Caller’s Saagar Enjeti and Reuters’s Roberta Rampton following President Trump’s press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in which neither U.S. reporter asked the President the questions CNN wanted them to. 

Instead, Enjeti pressed Trump on his threat to shutdown the government while Rampton focused on Iran. But because neither subject touched on Michael Cohen or Russian collusion, CNN tried to convince audiences that this was a distraction from the real issues.

 

 

And, of course, this is far from the first time that this has happened, dating back to the early days of the Trump presidency (for examples, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

Host Wolf Blitzer swooped in after the presser ended, complaining that there were “[n]o other questions involving the President's former lawyer, Michael Cohen or — or Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel for that matter at this news conference.”

Senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny was more direct, offering weak spin and misstatements of opinion that those two issues matter “[b]ut I do think another headline is indeed what was not asked here at this news conference” as Trump’s been “consumed....by the special counsel's investigation and those questions were not asked.”

Zeleny’s kvetching draged on and was humorously interrupted for a second or two by his camera feed going out (click “expand” to read more and emphasis mine):

We tried to asking him those questions at the end of the news conference if he does feel betrayed by Michael Cohen, of course, his long time lawyer confidante and protector. He turned briefly — the President — but did not answer the questions and, Wolf, we should say that, you know, the limitation of questions, two on each side is a way, of course, to protect the White House from [ZELENY CAMERA GOES DARK] answering questions we call news of day, the biggest headlines that may be out there and, of course, there are so many questions to ask the President. But it is true, Wolf, I can tell that you White House aide were asking some reporters here today what they planned to ask the President. Now, this is not necessarily untypical. You probably remember this as well from when you covered the White House for so many years. Administrations do ask reporters what they plan to ask. Most reporters I know do not answer that question besides of news of day. I always say, you know, whatever the President has spoken about, may be tweeting about, those are fair game for questions. We did not tell the White House what we planned to ask today and of course we were not called on here. So, Wolf, it is clear I think one of the headlines here at this press conference is the fact that some of the biggest controversies and clouds hanging over this administration were not asked today about the two U.S. journalists who were called on by the White House, Wolf. 

Blitzer responded that he’s “sure the President is relieved, sighing a little bit — a breath of relief over the fact that the two American journalists who asked questions” but not a “very important issue, the investigation, the Robert Mueller investigation, his personal attacks on the special counsel, which have escalated in recent days and the — what his supporters believe are betrayal by Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer.”

Moments later, Kaitlan Collins took a swing at both reporters, which was interesting since Enjeti succeeded her as the Daily Caller’s White House correspondent when she left for CNN. 

“And also, we have to talk about what we’re not talking about here, what the President is surely pleased he was not asked about there and that is Michael Cohen and the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which clearly, as we saw from the President’s Twitter feed this weekend, is something that truly consumed him in recent days,” she began in throwing shade the way of Enjeti and Rampton.

 

 

In addition to Trump criticism of Mueller, Collins fretted that neither reporter asked Trump about comments made by his lawyer and supporter Rudy Giuliani in a CNN interview.

She continued by backing the bus up and then driving over once more (click “expand” for more):

The President wasn’t asked about either one of those reporters and, of course, there’s only so many questions you can ask, but clearly, a subject the President is trying to avoid questions on. You saw, last week, he was not pleased when I and several other reporters asked about that during the meeting in the Oval Office, especially about Michael Cohen. This attorney and long time fixer and friend of the President’s that is now alleging he knew about that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians before it occurred and after, which is not what the President, not what his aides have said. They said he learned in July of 2017, a year after it occurred. The President wasn't asked about that there even though he did push back on it on Twitter this weekend and we did see him really ramp up his attack on the Special Counsel.

Back in the day, Collins was targeted by her now-colleagues in the liberal media, but with her being banned from a July 25 White House event, she’s now the newest journalistic firefighter. Funny how things change.

To see the relevant transcript from July 30's CNN Newsroom, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom
July 30, 2018
2:42 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Alright, you heard a couple of shouted questions at the end there. “Do you feel betrayed by Michael Cohen?” No other questions involving the President's former lawyer, Michael Cohen or — or Robert Mueller, the special counsel for that matter at this news conference, but there were two major headlines emerging. The President of the United States saying he would have no problem doing a federal government shutdown if he doesn't get what he wants on border security, including a wall and at the same time, he says he is willing to meet, without any preconditions with the Iranian leadership, President Rouhani. No preconditions, willing to meet with them any time they want. A significant statement given the fact that the State Department regards Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. There is a lot to discuss. 

(....)

BLITZER: I quickly want to go to Jeff Zeleny, our White House correspondent. You’re there in the East Room. Give us your take on what we just heard. 

JEFF ZELENY: Wolf, clearly, the Iran meeting without preconditions as you have been discussing is a major headline as well as the government shutdown. But I do think another headline is indeed what was not asked here at this news conference. Clearly on President's mind through his own words, his own tweets over the weekend, he is indeed consumed at least in part by the Special Counsel's investigation and those questions were not asked. We tried to asking him those questions at the end of the news conference if he does feel betrayed by Michael Cohen, of course, his long time lawyer confidante and protector. He turned briefly — the President — but did not answer the questions and, Wolf, we should say that, you know, the limitation of questions, two on each side is a way, of course, to protect the White House from [ZELENY CAMERA GOES DARK] answering questions we call news of day, the biggest headlines that may be out there and, of course, there are so many questions to ask the President. But it is true, Wolf, I can tell that you White House aide were asking some reporters here today what they planned to ask the President. 

Now, this is not necessarily untypical. You probably remember this as well from when you covered the White House for so many years. Administrations do ask reporters what they plan to ask. Most reporters I know do not answer that question besides of news of day. I always say, you know, whatever the President has spoken about, may be tweeting about, those are fair game for questions. We did not tell the White House what we planned to ask today and of course we were not called on here. So, Wolf, it is clear I think one of the headlines here at this press conference is the fact that some of the biggest controversies and clouds hanging over this administration were not asked today about the two U.S. journalists who were called on by the White House, Wolf. 

BLITZER: Yeah and I'm sure the President is relieved, sighing a little bit — a breath of relief over the fact that the two American journalists who asked questions. One asked about a government shutdown, which is an important issue, obviously. 

ZELENY: No doubt. Very important. 

BLITZER: And the other asked about Iran, talks with Iran which is, obviously, also a very important issue. 

ZELENY: Indeed.

BLITZER: But as you correctly point out, the President was not asked about a third very important issue, the investigation, the Robert Mueller investigation, his personal attacks on the special counsel, which have escalated in recent days and the — what his supporters believe are betrayal by Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer.

(....)

KAITLAN COLLINS: And also, we have to talk about what we’re not talking about here, what the President is surely pleased he was not asked about there and that is Michael Cohen and the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which clearly, as we saw from the President’s Twitter feed this weekend, is something that truly consumed him in recent days. He’s really ramped up his attacks from not uttering Robert Mueller's name before March to now he mentioned it, I believe, multiple times in one time — in one day, in one time period saying — alleging he has conflicts of interests but declining to say what exactly they were. Also the question that the President’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani couldn't answer this morning on CNN when he was asked what exactly those conflicts of interests that the Special Counsel — that they believes has are. The President wasn’t asked about either one of those reporters and, of course, there’s only so many questions you can ask, but clearly, a subject the President is trying to avoid questions on. You saw, last week, he was not pleased when I and several other reporters asked about that during the meeting in the Oval Office, especially about Michael Cohen. This attorney and long time fixer and friend of the President’s that is now alleging he knew about that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians before it occurred and after, which is not what the President, not what his aides have said. They said he learned in July of 2017, a year after it occurred. The President wasn't asked about that there even though he did push back on it on Twitter this weekend and we did see him really ramp up his attack on the Special Counsel.


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NBDaily Foreign Policy Iran Immigration Media Bias Debate Daily Caller Reuters CNN CNN Newsroom Video Government & Press Michael Cohen Jeff Zeleny Wolf Blitzer Kaitlan Collins Donald Trump
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