You just know the liberal media hated it when President Trump and First Lady Melania made a Christmas visit to the troops in Iraq. So CNN went into damage control this morning, doing its best to dump disparaging cold water on the trip.
On New Day, it was repeatedly mentioned that this was Trump's first visit to troops in a combat zone, with intimations it was done to deflect attention from the resignation of Jim Mattis and the withdrawal from Syria. Multiple references were also made to Melania having worn sunglasses at night upon her return. Although the commentators concurred that she shouldn't be criticized over it, if the shades were such a non-event, why did three panelists mention them? Particularly egregious was Brian Karem declaring "I forgive" Melania for the sunglasses. I'm sure the First Lady will be greatly relieved to receive Karem's absolution.
And "disingenuous" was the word of the day for Karem [who made his MSM bones in 2017 with an unhinged rant at Sarah Huckabee Sanders.] Karem deployed that d-word three times to describe Trump's trip.
Check out the mash-up to get a sense for CNN's line of attack.
Note: when Karem claimed that the trip was arranged to deflect attention from brouhahas at home, Alice Stewart—a former staffer for Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz—pointed out that the trip was in planning before the Mattis resignation and announcement of the Syria withdrawal. Co-host John Berman did back her up on that.
JOHN BERMAN: So the trip marks the President's first visit to a war zone as President, and comes less than a week after he ordered a complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
. . .
BORIS SANCHEZ: His first trip overseas to visit troops in a combat zone . . . The unannounced trip coming days after Mr. Trump controversial decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan and Syria.
. . .
BERMAN: There are those that have commented on social media on the sunglasses [that Melania was wearing at night upon her return.] I will tell you, having been bleary-eyed from some flights myself, you do what it takes, right?
ERICA HILL: I pass no judgment on that.
BERMAN: No judgment at all whatsoever.
. . .
BERMAN: [The trip was] an important step, albeit one that took him a long time to do.
. . .
MARK HERTLING: After two years in the presidency, visiting soldiers in Iraq.
. . .
HERTLING: [Political comments during the visit] was kind of over the edge.
BERMAN: Over the top.
. . .
ERICA HILL: Did the President, from what we know, get a good sense of what the situation actually is, there on the ground?
BRIAN KAREM: Well, I don't know how you can after three hours, but that's just me. I forgive the sunglasses, by the way.
. . .
KAREM: This entire trip we should look at, from our perspective, when we cover this man, is it's just another flash-over-substance type of thing . . . Everything with this President is staged events . . . It seems very disingenuous . . . It seems to contrived and so disingenuous . . . He should have made it earlier. He only made it because Mattis quit and he had a lot of pressure saying he hadn't gone anywhere . . . If you put it in the larger context of what's going on, it does seem disingenuous.