CNN Anchor Corners Trump Campaign Spox: Are Dead Americans ‘Funny to You?’
CNN presenter Brianna Keilar spoke to Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Monday and repeatedly urged him to defend Team Trump's claim that the president was only joking when he claimed he had his government over the weekend asked to slow down the coronavirus testing.
During his sparsely attended Tulsa rally on Saturday evening, President Donald Trump told supporters he was calling on officials to slow down COVID-19 tests to reduce the number of confirmed cases in the country. A White House official later told The Daily Beast that Trump was "obviously kidding," and Trump adviser Peter Navarro said on Sunday that the comments were "ironic."
In a controversial Monday interview, which included CNN anchor Murtaugh grilling Trump's recent use of the racist term "Kung Flu," Keilar raised Trump's test comments and asked if it was true that Trump wanted to slow him down as America 120,000 COVID happened -19 deaths.
Even "Fox & Friends" doesn't buy Kayleigh McEnany's spin from Tulsa Rally Crowd
"No, it's not. In fact, the United States is the world leader in testing," Murtaugh replied, urging Keilar to immediately wonder why Trump said that.
"I understand that there isn't much sense of humor in the CNN center," mocked Murtaugh. But the president was joking. He tried to illustrate that as you expand testing, you naturally increase the number of positive cases that you see. "
"That was exactly the point he made," he continued. "I'm not surprised that you either don't understand or don't want the President to make an ironic remark there, but that's the point he's making."
Meanwhile, Keilar pointed out that "120,000 Americans are dead" and added: "I don't think that's funny. Do you find that funny? "
After Murtaugh repeated that the president was only trying to illustrate "the point" through extended testing, the CNN anchor indicated that he was only saying "it's a joke".
The Trump spokesman stuttered that in these situations one could “use ironic humor”, which prompted Keilar to intervene again.
"Are dead Americans, are unemployed Americans, is that funny for you?" Keilar noticed dryly.
"You can ask it in 100 different ways," Murtaugh replied, letting the CNN host shoot back, "And you won't answer it."
The Trump flack repeated his speeches about the President and made a factual point about intensified testing, which led to confirmed cases, and let Keilar have the final say.
"You are aware that hospitalization numbers disprove what you say," she proclaimed. "These tests don't just take into account the numbers we see, including in Florida, a state that you've just held up as a model, when it certainly isn't."
"It's not funny that Americans die," she concluded when a stone-faced Murtaugh stood still. "It's not funny that you're unemployed. Tim Murtaugh, thank you for coming."
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