CNN's Tapper Shames Earnest For Not Watching Undercover Abortion Videos

CNN's Jake Tapper went after Josh Earnest on Monday's The Lead, after the White House press secretary admitted that he hadn't seen any of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, and was "relying on news reports that I've seen" about the controversy. Tapper pointed out that "the whole video is put up on the website of this anti-abortion group that put them out." When Earnest blasted the pro-life group for their "ideological games," the anchor retorted that "somebody at the White House should maybe watch the videos in full." [video below]

Tapper raised the issue in the middle of his interview of Earnest. He also ran clips from the first four videos that the Center for Medical Progress released. The journalist first noted that "the Senate...is going ahead with a vote to try and defund Planned Parenthood. The White House has threatened to veto any measure like that." He then asked the press secretary, "Is it your contention that there's nothing in these secretly-recorded videotapes of Planned Parenthood officials discussing what sounds like profiting from fetal tissue and organ sales – there's nothing in these tapes that bothers you and anyone in the White House?"

Earnest replied that "these videos...were released because of their shock value, and there's no doubt that's what depicted on these videos is shocking. I know that based on the news reports that I've read about the videos – I haven't actually looked at them." He continued with one of Planned Parenthood's talking points – that "people...have raised significant questions about whether or not these videos are credible – about whether or not they've been selectively edited in a way to grossly distort the position and the policies of Planned Parenthood."

The CNN anchor followed with his point about the whole videos being available on the pro-life organization's website. The White House official responded with more liberal talking points about the administration wanting to "make sure that there is not an ideological effort to wholesale defund Planned Parenthood that provides those important health care services to women all across the country."

The transcript of the relevant portion of Jake Tapper's interview of Josh Earnest from Monday's The Lead on CNN:

JAKE TAPPER: Josh, I want to ask you about a couple other issues, as long as I have – the Senate, as you know, is going ahead with a vote to try and defund Planned Parenthood. The White House has threatened to veto any measure like that-

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That's right-

TAPPER: Is it your contention that there's nothing in these secretly-recorded videotapes of Planned Parenthood officials discussing what sounds like profiting from fetal tissue and organ sales – there's nothing in these tapes that bothers you and anyone in the White House?

EARNEST: Well, Jake, I got to tell you – you know, these videos are – were released because of their shock value, and there's no doubt that's what depicted on these videos is shocking. I know that based on the news reports that I've read about the videos – I haven't actually looked at them. But people who have looked at them have raised significant questions about whether or not these videos are credible – about whether or not they've been selectively edited in a way to grossly distort the position and the policies of Planned Parenthood. And if you consider the source-

TAPPER: The whole – the video – the whole video is put up on – on the website of this anti-abortion group that – that put them out. I mean, you can – you don't have to watch just the edited version. You can watch the whole version.

EARNEST: Yeah. Well, listen, I'm relying on – on news reports that I've seen of people who have taken a look at this and raised questions about the videos themselves. And there's no doubt that this is an organization that has targeted Planned Parenthood for some time. So, they clearly have an ideological axe to grind.

What we know to be true is that Planned Parenthood provides regular health care for millions of Americans across the country, and Planned Parenthood is not able to use federal funds to perform abortions. That is written into the rules. That is a rule that this administration has not just followed, but actually supported.

So it's clear that there are some ideological games that are being played here, and what this administration and this president has long fought for is protecting access for women to health care. And that's exactly why we want to make sure that there is not an ideological effort to wholesale defund Planned Parenthood that provides those important health care services to women all across the country.

TAPPER: Well, somebody at the White House should maybe watch the videos in full.

[H/t: Washington Free Beacon]

Congress Culture/Society Budget Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Sexuality Abortion Birth Control Feminism CNN The Lead Planned Parenthood Jake Tapper Barack Obama Josh Earnest
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