An Exasperated Jake Tapper Wonders Why Trump Sounds Like ‘A Spokesman for the Kremlin’

An Exasperated Jake Tapper Wonders Why Trump Sounds Like ‘A Spokesman for the Kremlin’

Donald Trump’s comments on Friday regarding Vladimir Putin’s intentions in Venezuela left even Jake Tapper flabbergasted.

The CNN anchor was hosting a panel discussion on his afternoon show The Lead. He and his panelists were dissecting an earlier Oval Office press gaggle in which the president, discussing his earlier phone call with Putin, said of the Russian leader, “He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela, other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.”

Tapper pointed out that this assertion is contrary to, oh, just about every report on Russian intentions in Venezuela. Trump’s comment particularly contradicts his own Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who have both accused the Russians of propping up Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.

Reporter Abby Phillip noted that Trump’s comments totally shift the entire American policy towards Venezuela in a new direction, one based not on evidence, but solely on the word of Putin. That prompted Tapper’s seeming exasperation as he turned to Bill Kristol.

“Bill, just to be clear, this is not the president saying, ‘Well, this is what Putin claims.’ He is giving Putin’s point of view almost as if he is the spokesman for the Kremlin. ‘He is not looking to get involved in Venezuela.’ There are Russian troops in Venezuela!”

Cue the right wing flipping out that Tapper smeared Trump as a Russian agent, or something.

Watch the clip up top, via CNN.


Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.