CNN cuts away from ‘propaganda’ briefing as Trump plays video hitting press

CNN stopped its live coverage of the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing Monday when President Trump began playing a compilation of news clips portraying his handling of the pandemic in a positive light.

“To play a propaganda video at taxpayer expense in the White House briefing room is a new — you can insert your favorite word here in this administration,” CNN anchor John King said when the network cut away.

CNN also aired a chyron saying, “Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session.”

MSNBC also stopped its live broadcast of the briefing when Trump began airing the campaign-style video that Trump said was put together by White House staff, including social media director Dan Scavino.

“We are cutting into what was not a White House coronavirus briefing,” MSNBC host Ari Melber informed viewers.

An MSNBC spokesperson referred The Hill to Melber’s remarks during live coverage when asked for comment. 

CNN, which The Hill also reached out to for comment, and MSNBC have often cut in and out of the daily briefings, while cable news rival Fox News has carried them from start to finish.

Trump lashed out at the media just a day after The New York Times published a lengthy article detailing missteps by the administration in its coronavirus response.

The White House video began with text saying, “The media minimized the risk from the start.” It then highlighted various governors thanking the administration for its response to the pandemic.

Trump said White House staff put the video together two hours before Monday’s briefing.

“It’s very sad when people write false stories,” Trump, who often attacks the media as “fake news,” said after the video ended.

“I would love to be able to say that we have a very honest press,” he added. “And I don’t mind being criticized, but not when they’re wrong, not when people have done such a great job.”

Trump has not appeared on CNN or MSNBC for an interview since taking office.

Vice President Pence’s office had barred members of the coronavirus task force from appearing on CNN, according to a report last week from the network. Pence reportedly reversed that decision, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield later appearing on the network’s coronavirus town hall.

The administration was reportedly upset with a CNN report that Anthony Fauci had been excluded from a recent task force briefing, a report Fauci called “absolutely not true.”

Updated at 7:41 p.m.

Tags Anthony Fauci Cable news CNN News Coronavirus Donald Trump White House briefings

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