CNN anchor Jake Tapper said Sunday that President Donald Trump has scared a number of his colleagues off, often preventing them from reporting the truth.
Tapper joined colleague Brian Stelter on his Sunday morning media show “Reliable Sources” to discuss how media coverage has changed during Trump’s presidency and what lessons they could continue to use going forward. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Unloads On Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Think We As A Nation Have Ever Seen Someone Lose So Spectacularly’)
Stelter said that it’s the media’s job to give a platform to the truth, claiming that some outlets had fallen down on the job.
“It does sound like you have disappointment in some of your journalistic colleagues from Washington from these past four years,” Stelter added, turning to Tapper.
“Yeah, I do. I think that, you know, we’ve been calling out lies from Donald Trump since 2015, 2016,” Tapper replied, recalling his own comments about Trump suggesting that Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had been connected to the JFK assassination.
“And I said this isn’t a pro-Cruz position or an anti-Trump position. It’s a pro-truth position,” Tapper continued.
“I think that that position, the idea of I’m going to take the stand, I don’t care if you falsely label me a tool of this party or that party, this is the truth,” Tapper went on. “I think that Donald Trump succeeded with many of our colleagues in, you know, throwing the ball close to the batter so that they were scared, the brush ball. I think he scared people away. And I think a lot of our colleagues failed to rise to the challenge.”
Tapper noted that some on both sides of the aisle have taken extreme positions — neither of which were helpful — but that his main issue is with those in the middle who he believes failed to take a stand.
“I also think there are people on the far left that went way too far, you know, calling Trump Hitler, and I think people on the far right who defended every single thing he did no matter what it was,” Tapper concluded. “But I’m not talking about the extremes right now when I’m talking about my disappointment.”