Lara Trump: ‘CNN has proven themselves’ anti-Trump

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lara Trump, a senior advisor to President Trump’s reelection campaign, said Thursday that his supporters do not trust CNN’s coverage and find the network “very frustrating.”

In an interview on Thursday — a day after CNN’s Manhattan offices were evacuated over a mailed bomb that did not detonate — the president’s daughter-in-law decried the actions of “a very sick individual” who would try to target journalists and Democratic politicians.

But she said the cable news network is no friend to the president, and that his most ardent supporters know that.

{mosads}“CNN has proven themselves to really do everything they can and go out of their way to try and malign this president in many ways, and I think with our base, they understand that,” Lara Trump told The Hill. “The people that support the president find them very frustrating, and it’s a talking point for sure, but it’s got truth to it.”

“You look at the ratings of CNN since the president announced he was running, and their ratings have dropped, and I think that’s because people don’t trust them that much anymore. There’s a lot that they manufacture, there’s a lot that’s not 100 percent truthful, and I find it rather damaging to media’s credibility across the board. It’s unfortunate, but the reality remains that our base and the people that support the president do not trust CNN,” Trump said.

A CNN spokesman disputed Trump’s shot at the network’s ratings, which have spiked in the years since Donald Trump formally entered the political arena.

“Like so many of their talking points, the ratings claim is untrue. In reality, CNN’s ratings have increased since 2016, and we just had our third-best quarter on record,” said the spokesman, Matt Dornic.

The wife of Eric Trump has emerged as a prominent surrogate on the campaign trail this year, stumping for Republican candidates ahead of next month’s midterm elections. She was in Kansas City to support Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), who is locked in a tight race against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

Condemning the attempted mail-bomb attacks on CNN and the political figures, Trump pointed to her own experience with a threatening package. In March 2016, she opened an envelope at her Manhattan apartment that was full of white powder.

“For anyone that has experienced this, I can really relate to how frightening it is,” Trump said. “Thank God none of these were detonated and no one was hurt.”

Trump said mailed explosive devices — several more were discovered Friday, including two addressed to Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) — were not isolated incidents. 

“When you look at what’s happened and these incidents across the board over the past six months, it’s been the Democrats saying, ‘get in people’s faces,’ it’s been the Democrats or liberals running people out of restaurants and attacking people as they go to movies. I have not seen one Republican or somebody that says they are a supporter of the president causing anything like that,” she said.

She made her comments a day before law enforcement authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc Jr., in Broward County, Fla. Photos of Sayoc’s van showed it covered with bumper stickers and images supportive of President Trump and critical of Hillary Clinton and CNN. 

President Trump sharply condemned the bomb attacks in remarks on Thursday, but Friday morning he appeared to question whether they would have an impact on the midterm elections.

“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing, yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘It’s just not Presidential!’” Trump tweeted at 3:14 a.m.

It was the first time Trump had mentioned CNN since a pipe bomb was discovered in the network’s New York headquarters. 

“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows — news not talking politics,” Trump tweeted seven hours later. “Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”

Lara Trump said Thursday the president had offered an appropriate response, and that he did not bear any responsibility for attacks on those he had singled out for criticism in the past.

“I think he made a very clear statement condemning this. This is not the president’s fault, it’s no one’s fault. It wasn’t Bernie Sanders’s fault that a gunman tried to shoot at the Republicans as they were practicing for the baseball game,” Lara Trump said. “He bears no responsibility in any of this. This is not because of Donald Trump. This is a really unfortunate incident obviously by a very sick individual.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Claire McCaskill CNN Cory Booker Donald Trump Eric Trump Hillary Clinton suspicious packages Trump family

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