CNN’s Chalian: Trump ‘looked like a third-grader’ in Fox interview

President Trump "looked like a third grader" trying to “squirm out of a lie" when asked about his wiretapping claims during a Fox News interview, CNN's political director said Thursday.

David Chalian, who oversees political coverage across all of CNN platforms, spoke on-air Thursday after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced it saw no evidence of Trump’s accusation.

“Yesterday on Fox he was still trying to worm his way out of the lie about wiretapping on that word,” Chailan said. “Saying you’re going to see in next couple weeks — something’s gonna come out — saying surveillance more broadly. They say no!”


Trump was interviewed by Fox’s Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, where he faced questioning about his tweets earlier this month accusing President Obama of “wiretapping” Trump Tower during the campaign. Trump has yet to provide evidence.

Chalian said Trump should retract his claim and apologize to Obama if he can’t show proof. 

Recent findings “are now providing a path to the president where he can no longer justify not retracting those tweets and apologizing to Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSpencer Cox defeats Jon Huntsman in Utah GOP governor primary Will Twitter make @RealDonaldTrump a one-term president? Gallup: Trump's job approval rating erodes among key groups MORE of a crime without any evidence whatsoever. I just think think the White House is just in such a pickle on this," he said. 

"The president looked like a third-grader in that interview yesterday trying to squirm out of a lie." 

The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a statement Thursday they have seen no evidence that the Obama administration “wiretapped” Trump Tower. 

“Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrBiden campaign adds staff in three battleground states Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R-N.C.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE (D-Va.) said in a joint statement. No further details were provided. 

Chalian joined CNN in 2013. He had previously been fired from Yahoo News in 2012 after criticizing Republicans for moving ahead with the Republican National Convention in Tampa during a major hurricane slamming the Gulf Coast. 

"They’re not concerned at all," Chalian said on a hot mic, as first reported by then-Politico reporter Dylan Byers. "They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning." 

Chalian was immediately terminated for the remark after the audio was made public. He joined CNN the following year to be the executive producer of a rebooted "Crossfire" before being promoted to political director.