While CNN did air the entirety of Trump’s speech on Thursday — a speech that consisted of little other than false statements and baseless conspiracy theories, and which NBC, MSNBC and ABC all cut away from — the trio that was on air to discuss the speech certainly didn’t hold back their disgust at the president’s juvenile complaint session. Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Abby Philip all had strong words about the speech, with Phillip delivering a particularly powerful blow.
“This president clearly knows that this is not going to end well for him, or he believes that, and he’s trying to take the rest of the country down with him. He’s trying to take the voting system down with him, the democratic process down with him,” Phillip said.
“And beyond being completely selfish, it also is just wrong. And as you said, where’s the intervention? I don’t know where it is. And it probably should have happened months ago, because as you said, Dana, he already told us he was going to do this. He’s already said months ago, ‘The only way I could lose this election is if there were widespread massive fraud,’ which we knew was not going to happen.
“And now he apparently believe he believes he is losing the election, the numbers are not heading in his direction, and he’s claiming that there is fraud everywhere in the country except for one place, the place where the the vote count is narrowing in his favor, in Arizona. This is a complete farce and a travesty, and it’s incredible that he’s doing it from the White House. But notable also, Vice President Mike Pence nowhere, to be found.”
Before Phillip made her statement, Tapper came out firing immediately after Trump stopped talking.
“What a sad night for the United States of America, to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with this feast of falsehoods,” Tapper said.
“Lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen. No evidence for what he’s saying, just smears about the integrity of vote counting in state after state. When he wins a state it’s legitimate, when he loses it’s because the vote is being stolen from him. It’s not true, it’s ugly, it’s frankly pathetic.”
And Dana Bash, meanwhile, said watching that speech actually upset her.
“As he was talking I was trying to reach out to some senior Republicans to ask when the intervention is going to happen. Because this isn’t just partisan. This isn’t just dangerous. It’s nonsensical. It’s illogical,” Bash said. “And there are so many things to say, one of the things that I was thinking about listening to him now, is how much we listen to him for the past four, five months telling his voters, ‘do not vote early. It’s fraudulent.’
“We sort of suspected it then, now we know the reason for that: So that he could have this moment in the White House briefing room. So he could say that the votes that are coming in by mail are fraudulent. And the reason is because he knew that Democrats, because we are in a pandemic, were more apt to vote early by mail and did not want to risk their health and sometimes their lives by going to vote in person. It’s a setup! He set the country up. He set his supporters up for a moment like this, which is completely false and, you said, sad. It is sad.
“I mean, I’m not an emotional person, and I’m having trouble kind of keeping it together after listening to the President of the United States saying what he just said.”
You can catch the quoted portion of CNN’s coverage of Trump’s speech in the video embedded up at the top of this article.