During the 3 P.M. ET Hour of CNN Newsroom Tuesday, CNN analyst Tara Setmayer alleged that President Trump envies Jeff Bezos because he “is the richest man in the world”, described Twitter as a “pacifier” for President Trump and referred to Fox News as a “propaganda channel.”
Appearing on a panel with President Trump’s Former Chief Economic Advisor Stephen Moore, Setmayer argued that “the President’s attacks here against Amazon are personal. It has nothing to do with economics, has nothing to do with the Post Office and restructuring it financially. It’s because...Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, Donald Trump envies that and also because Amazon is so successful that it’s hurting brick and mortar businesses like on Fifth Avenue, where Trump Tower is and it’s affected Trump’s bottom line because his real estate values have plunged about $400 million as a result of brick and mortar stores losing money. It’s personal for Donald Trump and that should scare everyone.”
Host Brooke Baldwin could not seem to understand President Trump’s “sudden outbursts” on Twitter, rejecting Moore’s argument that Twitter is his way of “communicating directly with the American people and not having it go through the filter of CNN and The Washington Post.” Baldwin suggested that the tweets are not designed to communicate with the American people but instead intended to reach out to the conservative media and his base.
When she asked Setmayer to explain the “avalanche of tweets”, Setmayer said “I think Twitter is a pacifier for Donald Trump.” She then went on to criticize the “avalanche of tweets” as “propaganda, mistruths, (and) misrepresentations.”
When Moore tried to explain that President Trump does not like the unfair treatment he gets from the legacy media, Setmayer jumped in: “He has a whole channel dedicated to praising him over on Fox News. So he should be thrilled.” Moore argued that friendly treatment on Fox News does not make up for the unfair coverage he routinely receives on all of the other networks. Setmayer then took a swipe at the cable news network: “We’re holding him accountable and they’re a propaganda channel now.”
A transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more:
TARA SETMAYER: The President’s attacks here against Amazon are personal. It has nothing to do with economics, has nothing to do with the Post Office and restructuring it financially. It’s because Jeff Bezos, Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, Donald Trump envies that and also because Amazon is so successful that it’s hurting brick and mortar businesses like on Fifth Avenue, where Trump Tower is and it’s affected Trump’s bottom line because his real estate values have plunged about $400 million as a result of brick and mortar stores losing money. It’s personal for Donald Trump and that should scare everyone.
STEPHEN MOORE: I think Tara is right.
BALDWIN: Go ahead Stephen and then I want to move on.
MOORE: Look, Tara is Right that Amazon is one of our great, you know, innovative companies, no question about it. It’s, Jeff Bezos is a great businessman. You know, I would just say on this hypocrisy issue though, you know, I worked at The Wall Street Journal, you know, ten years ago when Rupert Murdoch bought The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch being a conservative. My God, liberals went crazy. How can a conservative buy a newspaper, it’s going to ruin the newspaper and then a few years ago, Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post. Jeff Bezos is a big liberal. And I didn’t hear that complaint, you know, about oh my gosh, this is going to affect, you know, the, the commentary and the news of The Washington Post. And it is true just as a matter of fact, I read The Washington Post every morning, that it is very liberal, it’s very anti-Trump and Trump is hitting back a little bit at this.
BROOKE BALDWIN: Yeah. He’s the one who’s hitting.
MOORE: That’s the nature of Trump.
SETMAYER: Right. What has The Washington Post reported that’s untrue? President Trump is upset because The Washington Post has done excellent investigative work uncovering a lot of the corruption and mistruths that are happening in this, in this Administration.
BALDWIN: Well, you know, we’ve all been hit...there’s the failing New York Times but that’s his hometown paper so maybe his, his ire is directed on The Post. I want to move on because I want to talk about his ire elsewhere, Stephen Moore, with you, you know, the sudden outbursts on Twitter, Amazon aside. Immigration, Sinclair, NAFTA, DOJ/FBI, Cheatin’ Obama, I mean, this is all stuff that helps him assuage, I realize, any concerns his base may have but why do you think he feels the need to unleash these red meat-tossing tweets?
MOORE: Well, he’s done this since the very first day that he started running for President and he’s, you know, in a lot of ways, been very effective at this. He’s really changed the way people run for office now, using, he used his...
BALDWIN: This is, hang on though. I mean, I’m with you. But the last couple of days, you blink and he’s tweeting again.
MOORE: It’s a fair point. Look, I, I would like to see Trump tweet less. I’ve told Donald Trump that to his face.
BALDWIN: And what does he say to you?
MOORE: But you know, he, what he says is that this is my way of communicating directly with the American people and not having it go through the filter of CNN and The Washington Post.
BALDWIN: Is it with the American people or is it with conservative media, is it his base? I mean, let’s be specific.
MOORE: Well, look, I mean it’s a pretty good communication device in the sense that every time he tweets something Brooke, you guys on CNN put it right on the air so he’s, he’s getting a lot of publicity out of these tweets, for better or for worse.
BALDWIN: Well, when you have a President referring to the Department of “Justice” as an embarrassment to the country, it’s something that needs discussing. I’m also wondering, Tara, on the same note though, is it, you know, I can’t explain the avalanche of tweets but is it, is it Mueller, might it be, you know, this whole investigation and swirl that’s driving the tweets, keeping his, we were referring to the Mar-a-Lago Fox News cabinet, you know, placated so that Trump feels protected?
SETMAYER: I think, I think Twitter is a pacifier for Donald Trump for sure. It’s clear. He says that he uses it to speak directly to the American people but he does that because he doesn’t want the filter of scrutiny of misinformation. I mean, the tweets over the last couple of days have been filled with propaganda, mistruths, misrepresentations, and when anyone criticizes that or checks him, and says “Wait a minute, that’s not true.” If he’s fact checked, then it becomes fake news. This is very dangerous because it’s propaganda. And the, a lot of people will believe it but interestingly enough, even though he attacks the, he attacks the free media, a Monmouth poll came out that said that more people actually believe CNN and Washington Post and mainstream media sources over Donald Trump. So he’s really only appealing to his base, he’s not appealing to most of the American people because I think they recognize it for what it is. He needs to continue to be held accountable.
BALDWIN: But it’s the reason, it’s the why, last thought, just why he’s sort of seemed more off kilter, if that’s the right phrase, Stephen. I mean, that he’s really feeling like he needs to appeal to his base with this, Tara’s word, propaganda, the last couple of days. What’s up?
MOORE: I think he’s feeling frustrated about the unfair treatment that he gets in the, in the mainstream media. I mean, there’s no question about it, you know, that 80 to 90 percent of the reporting that’s done about Trump is negative.
BALDWIN: What’s unfair, Stephen?
SETMAYER: That’s his own fault though! That’s his own fault!
MOORE: It’s not surprising that he wants to communicate directly to people and not have the filter.
SETMAYER: He has a whole channel dedicated to, he has a whole channel dedicated to praising him over on Fox News. So he should be thrilled.
BALDWIN: What’s unfair? What’s unfair about what we’re doing over here?
MOORE: Fox News is one network out of ten...
SETMAYER: It’s a large network with a huge platform. What’s the problem? Because we’re actually holding him accountable and they’re a propaganda channel now. I think he’s freaking out now because of Stormy Daniels and those cases are heating up. And it doesn’t look good for them, paying off a porn star with $130,000 a couple of weeks before the election.