I agree with Jonathan Swan. The most interesting thing about this is the fact that someone close to Bolton wanted CNN to know that it wasn’t his decision. Not everyone in the West Wing enjoys playing the “fake news” game as much as Trump does, I guess. Or is it just that Team Bolton didn’t want it to look as though he was running away, scared of a tough interview?
Update: @AmbJohnBolton had been locked in for tomorrow’s @CNNSOTU. Then the president attacked CNN during his UK presser, and our WH correspondent tried to ask a question. We are told Amb. Bolton remains fully prepared to do the interview but the White House has canceled it.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 14, 2018
Trump took a swipe at Jim Acosta at yesterday’s press conference with Theresa May, then doubled down on Twitter this morning:
It’s not true that CNN refused to cover Trump’s exchange with Acosta, of course. Watch below. Does anyone think a grandstander as notorious as Jimbo would downplay the president singling him out at a joint press conference with the prime minister of Great Britain? It’s the greatest day of his life. He makes a fair point too in noting that Trump’s anti-CNN policy isn’t consistent. He took a question from Acosta at the Kim Jong Un summit in Singapore (delivered with characteristic professionalism) and Rudy Giuliani was a guest on Tapper’s program as recently as last week. What’s happened in the past few days to make his CNN-bashing suddenly flare up again to the point where even aides like Bolton are forbidden from appearing there?
John noted in his post yesterday about the press conference that John Roberts of Fox is taking heat for accepting Trump’s invitation to ask a question after he passed over Acosta. Whatever happened to press solidarity, reporters wondered? Some, including Tapper, remembered that Fox’s rivals stood up for the network when the Obama White House tried to freeze out its reporters in 2009. Now, when the Trump White House freezes out a competitor, Fox leaps at the chance to usurp him. Fair enough, but I had the same thought Mary Katharine Ham did:
Thought the same thing when @terrymoran crapped on @ShannonBream’s decision to leave SCOTUS live shot this week bc it’s totes impossible a woman who works for Fox might have had a different experience than him in a crowd of liberal protesters.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) July 13, 2018
Yeah, what about that? There wasn’t a lot of press solidarity in evidence this week when Shannon Bream, a credible reporter, claimed that the crowd outside the Supreme Court after the Kavanaugh announcement was so threatening to her that she felt obliged to leave the scene. Terry Moran all but called her a liar afterward, tweeting that he was there too and didn’t feel threatened, and didn’t get much heat about it from media colleagues. Normally a reporter being intimidated by a hostile mob is a big deal among journalists; it’s always duly noted and circulated on Twitter when a Trump fan shouts something nasty at the media bullpen at one of his rallies. No biggie when it happens to Bream, apparently, although CNN media critic Brian Stelter did note in passing that it was “concerning” in his daily newsletter. Whatever happened to press solidarity?
Update: Well, there you go. Payback for Acosta.
Actually a @CNN reporter disrespected @POTUS & PM May during their press conf. Instead of rewarding bad behavior, we decided to reprioritize the TV appearances for administration officials. https://t.co/58LaJH6WaD
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) July 14, 2018