CNN anchor Poppy Harlow shut down White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern on Monday after he repeatedly deflected her inquiries into President Trump’s taxes.
The New York Times released a bombshell report on Trump’s finances Sunday night, which showed he only paid $750 in federal income taxes for his first two years in office. The report also revealed in 10 of the last 15 years Trump paid zero federal income taxes after losing far more money than he made.
“What is true?” Harlow asked twice. “How much federal income tax did the president pay in 2016 and 2017? All I’m looking for is a number.”
Morgenstein responded that the president and his attorney stated he paid millions in taxes. But when Harlow asked specifically about federal income tax — which an average American taxpayer paid $12,199 in 2017 — Morgenstern instead brought up his opponent Joe Biden’s son.
“You should be asking where are the taxes on Hunter [Biden] $3.5 million from Russia,” he asked.
“I absolutely should NOT be asking the president’s spokesman about someone who is not germane to this conversation, who is not running the president,” she replied.
“You’re not going to answer that question?” Morgenstern said, talking over Harlow.
“Because I ask the questions,” Harlow responded. “I’m glad you’re here. I’m going to keep asking them.”
Morgenstern later said without proof that the Times piece was a “political hit” orchestrated with Democrats.
“It is NOT okay for you to accuse [the Times] with no facts with coordinating with the Democratic Party. Please stop doing that or this interview will end,” Harlow replied.
“You can put the entire thing to bed if the President would release the records and show the American people what he says is true. Why will he not do that?” she inquired.
After Harlow labeled her questioning as another press attack on the president, Harlow extended an invitation for him to appear on the show.
See the clip below.
“You can put the entire thing to bed if the President would release the records and show the American people what he says is true. Why will he not do that?” @PoppyHarlowCNN presses WH official Brian Morgenstern on Pres. Trump's federal income tax payments https://t.co/ylM4hvikTb pic.twitter.com/LY9BF9SqgE
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 28, 2020