After spending Thursday evening giving President Trump glowing praise for being the first sitting U.S. president to get North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to agree to a meeting, CNN was still flabbergasted the following morning on March 9’s New Day. Remarkably, anchor Alisyn Camerota even confronted a Democrat politician on-air and demanded to know why his party wouldn’t acknowledge the president’s accomplishments.
While speaking with guest Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Camerota asked the Democrat what he thought about the agreed to meeting. Of course, he had only negative things to say, doubting the meeting would go anywhere and also calling it a “risky” move “which seems to validate this totalitarian regime.”
Surprisingly the CNN anchor gave some pushback. “But do you give President Trump credit for the economic sanctions that have allowed this to happen and brought Kim Jong-un to the table?” she asked.
Blumenthal predictably gave Democrats credit for the sanctions, saying Trump bowed to their pressure. Again, Camerota pushed back, asking, “Why do you say he only reluctantly imposed the sanctions, when he, let’s be honest, he is the first U.S. President to come this far with North Korea. Doesn't that say that he is doing something different?”
The Democrat complained that Trump wasn’t the right person to meet with the totalitarian leader, and he needed “professional” diplomats in his team to “lay the groundwork.” But Camerota surprisingly kept trying to get Blumenthal to acknowledge how big a step this was for the U.S., forcing the Senator to listen to a list of Trump’s successes and own up to his own party’s dismissal of them:
We just threw together this sort of ad hoc list of what the president's successes have been since he took office. It is by no means complete and you might quibble with some of them but let me just lay them out for you. North Korea is in decline. The economic sanctions are working. ISIS caliphate gone. Strong relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia is now trying to modernize. Very strong economy at home, obviously. Look at what’s happening with the jobless numbers that will be out this morning and the stock market. Lowest corporate tax rate ever. And people on both sides said they wanted to bring the corporate tax rate down. So why, from where you sit, I don't hear Democrats often giving the the President credit for this. What gets in your way of giving him credit for some of these things?
Blumenthal lamely deflected, saying there was still more problems in this country. “Of course,” Camerota agreed, stressing again, “But do you give him credit for those things I just outlined?”
Of course the Democrat couldn’t do that, “I will give him partial credit for some of them,” he quickly offered, before predictably claiming that President Obama was responsible for the current economic boom.
Despite this extraordinary back-and-forth, the show started off with CNN waffling between praising the president for securing the meeting, and bashing him for “getting in the way of his own successes.” Co-anchor Chris Cuomo set the tone at the top of the show, telling guest, New York Times’ Maggie Haberman:
This could very well be a positive step. We haven’t seen it happen before. There is obviously a need for diplomatic channels...however, how he does it get, gets in the way of his own success. We see that every day. They economy does have green shoes. Does have good metrics. But the way he either doesn’t tell the truth about what’s going or attributes to it, he causes his own problems.
Camerota took the same note, arguing that Trump’s successes “ended up being eclipsed by scandal.” (Never mind the role the media plays in hyping the scandals versus the successes, apparently!)
We have drawn up just a quick little list of some of the president's successes that do end up being eclipsed by then the scandal. So North Korea is in decline. The economic sanctions, regardless of what happens at this meeting, the economic sanctions appear to be working. They're in decline. They have become open to this overture. ISIS caliphate, gone. Strongest relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia, trying to modernise. Strong economy obviously at home. Lowest corporate tax rate that everybody said they had always wanted. So he has done all of these things. And then every week one of these things happens, there is a Stormy Daniels, or there’s a Rob Porter, or there’s a Jared Kushner or a John Kelly spat. It’s dizzying.