Fox News media reporter Brian Flood keeps chronicling how CNN host Jake Tapper is trying to “clean up the mess he created” by lying about urging GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell to run in a “safer R district” than the one represented by freshman Democrat Conor Lamb. Tapper has been “pestering” GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell to issue a joint statement with him for damage control:
While Tapper has remained silent on the story publicly, he has apparently been working the phones behind the scenes. Calls from Tapper to Parnell have come “multiple times” since the story broke, a source close to Parnell – who does not work for Parnell’s campaign – told Fox News.
“I was with Sean the day one of these stories broke. Tapper was blowing up his phone like an obsessed lunatic," the source close to Parnell said. “Everyone knew it. By the end of the day, every time Sean’s phone rang or beeped, half a dozen people would roll their eyes, turn to Sean and ask, ‘Tapper?’”
Tapper has also reached out to people close to Parnell, including political allies, attempting to get the Parnell campaign to issue a joint statement that downplays the CNN anchor’s actions.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tapper has behaved like “teenage girl who just lost her prom king boyfriend,” the source close to Parnell told Fox News, adding that he would be stunned if Parnell’s campaign actually issued a statement defending Tapper....
During a recent onslaught of phone calls and text messages, Tapper has been painting his relationship with Parnell as a friendly one, spinning a narrative that they’re old pals.
“To say they’re friends is a massive overstatement,” the source said, noting that Tapper initiated the relationship. "They’re professional acquaintances at best, this is a distraction for Parnell."
Parnell appeared by phone on The Mark Levin Show on Friday night, and Levin asked him to confirm that Tapper pressed him to seek a safer seat. He confirmed it publicly for the first time.
"I typically don’t make it a habit of talking about personal conversations, but I will tell you... back in October, I told Jake I had little interest in running in a safe Republican seat. Why would I run against one of my future Republican colleagues, some people that I consider friends, and they’re doing a good job,” Parnell told Levin. “I told him I had little interest in the status quo, and my mission is to take back the House, my mission is to take the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi, and give the power in this country back to the people. But ultimately, I wanted to give the people of Western Pennsylvania a voice in their political destinies because right now they don’t have one. So that’s what I told Jake back in October and my stance on it hasn’t really changed.”
PS: After his article was posted, Flood also received a statement from Trump adviser Richard Grenell, who asked Tapper on Twitter if he had advised Parnell not to run against Lamb, and Tapper said "Nope." Grenell said all this lying and spinning demonstrate Tapper (and CNN) act like political operatives, not journalists: