So, in the 7th week of his presidency, we wondered how the anchors and reporters were doing with their Trump coverage.
It appears the president’s pace is still leaving them breathless and sometimes bewildered.
Here are just ten examples from this week:
1. CNN’s Van Jones on “The Messy Truth”:
Jones discussed liberals’ versus conservatives' reactions to Donald Trump so far in his presidency:
"When Trump breaks the rules, we start fanning ourselves and fainting and freaking out and handing out all of these protocol violations. And for his supporters, his appeal has nothing to do with protocol. It has everything to do, though, with pride and prosperity.
He’s saying, I want you to be proud of the country and have a job. So liberals seem to only see, like the crazy tweets. And we act like that’s all he’s doing. But his supporters actually ignore those tweets. You want to know the tweets they cherish? The one where he’s taking credit for the stock market that’s rising and their 401(k)s doing better and the jobs he so-called saved. If progressives want to understand Trump supporters, those are the tweets we need to be paying attention to.
I think he’s driving liberals insane."
2. Mark Halperin, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:
Halperin asked Democratic Congressional reps about their meeting with President Trump on prescription drug prices and was flabbergasted at the favorable report they gave:
“Congressmen, this is one important issue, one meeting, and yet you both are saying things now that most Democrats, grassroots Democrats around the country will recoil from and say, ‘how can these guys go to the White House for a meeting like this and yet speak so favorably of the president? So, explain to Democrats what you saw in that room that are making both of you say such favorable things about him?"
3. Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360°”:
Cooper discussed the wiretaps as reported by The New York Times and other major news outlets and how FBI Director James Comey asked for the Justice Department to publicly reject the president’s claim:
“Just think of that for a moment, the nation’s top lawman asking in essence for the public denunciation of a sitting president of the United States. Any evidence the president had before tweeting? Keeping them honest tonight, if it exists we have yet to see it. The story appears to come from conservative radio hosts and from websites... That reporting so far has not been matched by U.S. news organizations with prior good contacts in the U.S. intelligence community."
4. CNBC “Squawk On the Street” co-anchor Sara Eisen:
Eisen was interviewing the chief economist from Goldman Sachs, Jan Hatzius, about the huge jump in the February jobs numbers, right after Trump’s election:
“How much credit does President Trump get for this blow out number?”
And the next moment she followed up:
“But if you break apart the components of this report, so we saw the big jump in construction jobs, but it was a warm February, we had lots of retail jobs, but I’m wondering how sustainable these above average plus 200,000 jobs?"
5. Matt Lewis on “Anderson Cooper 360°”:
Matt Lewis of The Daily Beast on President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ unveiling plans to replace and repeal Obamacare, fulfilling a campaign promise. Lewis believes bad things are about to happen to Republicans:
“I don’t know what’s better or worse for Republicans. They might be better off if this fails. We’re talking about Donald Trump’s presidency crashing if this fails. It could be worse if it passes. This could be a complete debacle."
6. Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead”:
Tapper couldn’t resist showing a bit of sarcasm when, as Mediaite noted, he became upset about how some political allies were papering over the president’s “lack of evidence” in his assertion that Trump Tower had been bugged by President Obama:
“I find it interesting the idea that a 70-year-old man shouldn’t be held accountable for his words.”
Later, Tapper dismissed the president’s claim about being wiretapped by criticizing both his thinking and his sourcing, noting that his only knowledge came from a report in Breitbart:
“And what he actually meant was I just read a story in Breitbart and I completely misunderstood it.”
7. Gloria Borger on “Anderson Cooper 360°”:
The issue was the roll-out of the Republicans' repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and Borger, a columnist for U.S. News and World Report, had a prediction:
“Can I just say, now we know why John Boehner left as Speaker. This is not gonna happen. He knows that Republicans have never agreed to do [anything] about health care and that has not changed in the last seven years.”
8. MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe”:
Brzezinski discussed with Congressman Elijah Cummings his successful meeting with President Trump on the issue of prescription drug prices:
“So Elijah, do you have faith — should I have faith? This is a man who is calling Barack Obama ‘a felon.’"
9. CNN’S Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight”:
Mediaite reports that CNN’s Don Lemon was quite angry about the latest Donald Trump moves at the White House. He claimed that people who trust the president aren’t operating in the real world:
“There are some Americans who simply cannot trust President Trump because he is a serial liar.
...it makes no sense when you’re the President of the United States if people can’t believe the words that come out of your mouth.
Basically we are making excuses for people who are divorced from reality. I know that’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth.”
10. Jim Acosta, CNN:
The reporter was asked about how the roll-out of the Republican replacement and repeal for Obamacare was going, and he let loose with claims that lawmakers are doing a major cram down of the bills:
“When you have committees working almost through the night, when you have members of Congress being asked to weigh in on a proposal that has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office… you have a lot of the stakeholders that were involved in the formulation of Obamacare… [who] have not been part of that process, that pretty much meets the definition of jamming things through.”
On a variety of issues and due to his personal tweets, Trump has left a lot of reporters and anchors whipsawed this week.