CNN anchor Jake Tapper abruptly ended an interview with a top Trump campaign aide who refused to address the president’s failure to condemn a far-right group.
The interview, on Wednesday afternoon, quickly became heated after Tapper asked Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director: “Why is it so difficult for President Trump to say, ‘I condemn white supremacy’?”
Murtaugh said Trump already had, arguing: “Sooner or later, you guys have to take yes for an answer.”
As the two went back and forth about the details, eventually Tapper said: “You know what, I’m not Chris Wallace,” and seemed to end the interview early.
Last night’s debate moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, had struggled to maintain order during the chaotic debate, in which the president repeatedly refused to allow his opponent, Joe Biden, to speak. On Wednesday Wallace acknowledged criticism of his performance and called the debate “a missed opportunity”.
Trump drew intense backlash and condemnations from Republicans and Democrats for not vigorously condemning white supremacist groups on Tuesday night, after Biden asked him to denounce the Proud Boys, a right-wing militia, during a question from Wallace about disavowing right-wing extremists.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left,” Trump instructed the extremist group.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress in mid-September that white supremacist groups rank among the top threats to US national security.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) September 30, 2020