CNN anchor Jake Tapper admonished President Trump for decrying unfavorable press coverage at a lengthy news conference Thursday, delivering an on-air plea for Trump “to stop whining about it.”
“It’s not just about electoral votes,” Tapper said on the air. “It’s about the fact that he’s still fixated on whether or not he legitimately won the presidency.”
“President Trump, if you’re watching, you’re the president,” he said. “You legitimately won the presidency. Now get to work and stop whining about it.”
Tapper was responding to a lengthy aside by Trump on Thursday, in which the president overstated the number of electors he secured as 306. He won 304.
“You said you had the biggest electoral victory since Reagan. That’s not true,” Tapper said. “And he said, ‘Well, somebody gave me that information, somebody gave me that information.’
“The buck stops there? Is that where we are with this presidency?”
The real estate mogul has repeatedly turned to discussions about the size of his Electoral College win since November, including in conversations with foreign leaders. During a confrontational phone call with Australia’s prime minister last month, for example, Trump reportedly boasted about his electoral win.
Trump immediately took a combative tone with reporters during the presser, calling reports about his administration’s relationship with Russia “fake” and “false.” The president was verbally aggressive with several journalists, often ranting about how unfairly the media treats him.
CNN correspondent John King read a message from a GOP senator on air shortly after the news conference that suggested the event was more an informal therapy session for Trump than an actual press conference.
Following the president’s turbulent and sweeping presser, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough said on Twitter that Trump “needs sleep.”
The president needs sleep.— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 16, 2017
Tapper has challenged Trump and his advisers recently. Last week, the CNN anchor conducted a combative interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, days after the news network reportedly turned down an offer to have the senior Trump aide appear on “State of the Union,” citing questions about her “credibility.”