CNN Cuts Away from Trump Coronavirus Briefing, Calling It 'Propaganda'


CNN cut away from its live coverage of the White House coronavirus task force briefing Monday while President Donald Trump played a series of news clips defending his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House video was aired in the middle of the daily media briefing and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interrupted in the middle of it to analyze the video and Trump’s response to criticism of his administrations response to the pandemic.

First, Blitzer went to CNN “fact-checker” Daniel Dale, then to fellow CNN anchor John King.

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Dale defended statements made by former Vice President Joe Biden immediately after Trump announced the ban on travelers from China on Jan. 31, while King criticized the video Trump presented at Monday’s briefing.

“The president has every right to be proud of imposing the travel restrictions on China,” King told Blitzer.

“He was criticized by other people at the time, and it turns out every public health expert will now tell you that that helped.”

However, King said that the video was “propaganda” that was full of “cherry-picked” information.

“That was propaganda, that was not just a campaign video. That was propaganda aired at taxpayer expense in the White House briefing room,” King said. “And it was selective cherry-picking information.”

He added, “He has every right to defend himself, he has every right to push back and he has every right to challenge things that are factually not true. But to play a propaganda video at taxpayer expense in the White House briefing room is a new — you can insert your favorite word here — in this administration.”

MSNBC also cut away from the media briefing with host Ari Melber saying that it would not be airing any more of the briefing until “it returns to what it was supposed to be.”

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“We are cutting into what was not a White House coronavirus task force briefing,” Melber said.

“We are going to avoid airing anymore of this White House briefing until it returns to what it was supposed to be — which was providing medical information.”

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The MSNBC host said that the video suggests that the White House is spending “precious time” making videos to defend the president rather than providing the public with emergency medical information.

Trump aired the video and spent a large part of the media briefing defending his administration after an article published Saturday by The New York Times pointed to times it said the president “could have seen what was coming.”

“I just want to say, it’s very sad when people write false stories like, in that case I guess it was gotten mostly from The New York Times,” Trump said following the video.

“I would love to be able to say that we have a very honest press,” he added, about the 24:35 mark in the video above. “And I don’t mind being criticized, but not when they’re wrong, not when people have done a great job.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith