Americans’ prime source for unfiltered information about the battle against the coronavirus should be muzzled, according to CNN host Don Lemon.
Lemon and fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo were discussing live coverage of the coronavirus task force’s daily briefings Monday when Lemon said that coverage is a mistake, claiming that President Donald Trump uses the briefings to lie to the American people.
“I have said, I don’t think you should really listen to what he says,” Lemon said. “You should listen to what the experts say.
“I’m not actually sure, if you want to be honest, that we should carry that live. I think we should run snippets. I think we should do it afterward and get the pertinent points to the American people. Because he’s never, ever going to tell you the truth.
“Guess what he’s going to do? If you ask a question that is a legitimate question, and if he doesn’t like the question, he’s going to say whether you’re being mean or not or whatever he wants to call it, he’s going to say, ‘That is a mean, nasty question.'”
Lemon said the president “wants his base to think that the media is being mean to him and they’re attacking him. It is all a plot. It is all orchestrated. And if you can’t see it, I don’t know what you’re looking at.”
The CNN host likened Trump’s actions during the briefings to his work hosting the NBC reality show “The Apprentice.”
“It’s obvious, it’s transparent to me. This has become, those press briefings have become his new ‘Apprentice.’ They’ve become his new rallies. And he treats the press and the media as if he’s talking to the people in his rallies,” Lemon said. “It’s the same thing. It’s no different. It’s just that the audience is not there.”
“I’m saying play all of it. I want to hear everything he has to say. I want it all to be out there. And I want him to be held to account,” he said.
Cuomo also noted that Lemon was off base by saying Trump never told the truth.
“What he said today was all truthful, you know?” he said.
CNN CEO Mark Zucker has said the briefings are important because of the information provided by Trump and the health experts who speak, according to the Daily Beast.
“It’s a very difficult decision,” Zucker said. “As of now, we are going to continue to carry those briefings.”
On Monday, Trump sparred with CNN’s Jim Acosta after Acosta read the president a list of comments he had made calling for Americans to stay calm about the virus and then asked, “What do you say to Americans who believe that you got this wrong?”
First, Trump answered the question about what he expects Americans to do.
“And I do want them to stay calm. And we are doing a great job. If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true. Stay calm. It will go away. You know it — you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory,” he said.
Then the president lowered the boom on Acosta and his network.
“And it’s people like you and CNN that say things like that. That — it’s why people just don’t want to listen to CNN anymore. You could ask a normal question,” Trump said, later adding, “And instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question.”
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