Towards the end of Thursday morning’s edition of CNN’s Inside Politics, the panel criticized President Trump's routine of watching Fox News in the morning and argued that he lives in a "parallel universe."
The panel had discussed the fact that President Trump used the phrase “bombshell” to describe the latest batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI employees Peter Stzrok and Lisa Page, after the morning news program Fox & Friends used the same term. President Trump has repeatedly praised Fox & Friends on his Twitter account and has had a rocky relationship with CNN. CNN White House Reporter Abby Phillip said that “It’s also fascinating to watch the President mimic back what he’s watching on television that morning.” She went on to say “He’s not going to the source of this information, he’s getting it chewed through this sort of spin machine.”
Host John King, perhaps a little jealous of the President’s admiration for Fox News, said “Forgive me, but he watches in the morning, this is the President of the United States, who has access to every bit of information in the world that U.S. intelligence can gather and that’s where he chooses to get his information.”
The Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren dismissed the emphasis of the Stzrok-Page text messages as “midwife by folks in the conservative media...who want to believe the absolute worst.” On the other hand, the liberal media want to dismiss the whole text message scandal as a “nothing burger.”
Members of the panel then gave their two cents on a clip of Kellyanne Conway reacting to one of the text messages, where Page tells Stzrok that “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.” President Obama had previously told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that he “did not have any involvement in ongoing FBI investigations.” King said that “this parallel universe thing is just not healthy”, reinforcing the media narrative that the President and his inner circle are out of touch with reality.
The media can criticize the President all it wants for relying on cable news but one can’t help but wonder if they would feel slightly differently if he watched CNN in the morning.
ABBY PHILLIP: It’s also fascinating to just watch the President mimic back what he’s watching on television that morning. He used exactly the same language. He called it a bombshell, which is the language that was being used in that segment on Fox. And that’s what’s happening day in and day out with President Trump. He’s not going to the source of this information, he’s getting it sort of chewed through this spin machine, and then he is repeating it on social media to his 45 million followers.
JOHN KING: Right. Forgive me, but he watches in the morning, this is the President of the United States who has access to every bit of information in the world that U.S. intelligence can gather and that’s where he chooses to get his information. Good luck. Senator Johnson, just a few moments ago, asked about this and didn’t back down.
SENATOR RON JOHNSON: First of all, I encourage people to read the full report, and the texts speak for themselves. They raise a lot of questions and we are going to continue our investigation.
KING: The texts – I’m going to take issue with the Senator here. The texts don’t necessarily speak for themselves. The texts show galactically bad judgment by people in very sensitive jobs who are in a personal relationship who should not be texting about such things, even if they’re joking. They have...it’s galactically bad judgment. But you can’t, you have now members of Congress, reading these text messages and reorganizing the planets and the stars without any evidence that they took whatever views they might have expressed in these text messages and actually took them to the office and changed investigations or tampered with investigations or showed bias in the investigations. This is the United....the world’s greatest deliberative body, they used to say.
MICHAEL WARREN: Well but I think it is midwife by folks in the conservative media who are, who want to believe the absolute worst when, when there’s been no demonstration. You know, it’s not crazy to think that the Obama Administration might be, might have been doing bad things, you know, involving the Department of Justice, there has been, there was quite a bit of evidence in the Obama Administration of that happening. And as you say, the FBI agents acting, making some really, really poor judgments here and should be investigated but I think, I think that jumping to conclusions is ultimately muddying a, what might otherwise be a legitimate case, because it all has to go to the extreme level of well this, this, this sort of discredits any investigation into the President. It just was simply wrong.
KING: I’ll say the same thing I said about the Nunes memo. That if you have actual evidence of bias in law enforcement agencies, dear God, put it out. But put it out in a bipartisan way so the people can believe it as opposed to this little cherry-picking stuff. To the point where Kellyanne Conway, again paid by you, the American taxpayer, says this and says, wow.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: I saw people showing the clips of President Obama in an interview saying he does not interfere or ask about DOJ investigations so people are going to have to square there, where the truth is. It is very concerning to see two people sexting each other about this investigation, I mean texting each other about this investigation on and on, and now you see it goes all the way to the top, according to them, anyway.
KING: Sexting to texting. She’s good. Whether you agree or disagree, she knows what she’s doing and, and she’s good. Look, we make fun of this sometimes but this parallel universe thing is just not healthy.
PHILLIP: That was this morning, by the way. That was this morning, after it had been debunked.
M.J. LEE: And clearly, Washington has become a little bit too trigger happy in some of these situations; the jumping to the conclusion, especially when it is beneficial to your party or it looks bad for the other party. I think, to your point about President Trump watching television and then sort of going on Twitter to immediately react, he’s also doing that not in a vacuum, he’s doing it because he feels like he’s under siege. He feels like a lot of the headlines about him and the Russia investigation, those are pouring in, those are not looking good for him. And so I think he sees something like this and wants to tell the world, wants to tell the millions of Twitter followers, you should be paying attention to this.
KING: And so you saw that Kellyanne Conway clip there. That was this morning as you noted. She was asked about that, a conspiracy theory, unfounded. Not asked about, a story we’ll come back to in just a moment. One of President Trump’s top advisors out after allegations of domestic abuse. M.J. Lee spoke to his accusers. She’ll share some of her reporting. Next.