President Trump forced MSNBC and CNN to eat crow after he addressed Russian election meddling during his first sit-down meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
A number of anchors and pundits on the two media outlets assumed that Trump wouldn’t raise the interference issue due to his somewhat cozy relationship with Putin. Analysts operated under the speculative assumption all day Friday.
“Some early reports that sound like he doesn’t intend to [bring up meddling],” CNN’s Susan Hennessey guessed. “The idea that at the same moment or early before he would choose to, once again, raise these issues on his Twitter feed really just puts sort of the starkness and sort of bizarreness of his to not bring this up to President Putin.”
“[Trump’s Podesta tweets] are just another indicator that of the fact that he was probably never going to press [interference] too hard in this meeting,” a CNN guest opined.
“What should be happening in a normal world is Donald Trump should go in there saying, ‘we know you’ve been meddling in the election, we’re going to continue to squeeze you.” said MSNBC’s Ali Velshi.
However, shortly after Trump’s meeting with Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated that Trump pressed Putin on election interference multiple times and that it was the first topic raised in the meeting.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria had a particularly astute observation early Friday, guessing that bringing up election meddling would be a great political move for Trump because the media would be forced to report positively on the meeting.