CNN anchor Jake Tapper called out Sean Spicer on Tuesday, issuing a scathing critique of the White House press secretary’s attempts to downplay President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees.
Earlier Tuesday, Spicer had insisted to the White House press corps that the executive order Trump signed Friday was not a “ban” on Muslims but an “extreme vetting” system. When a reporter pointed out that Trump himself had used the word “ban” to describe his order, Spicer claimed the president was simply “using the words that the media is using.”
Tapper took issue with Spicer’s attempt at linguistic gymnastics.
“It seems odd, though. If you object to the term, you shouldn’t use it, right?” the anchor said on CNN’s “The Lead,” on Tuesday, cutting to an interview from last week in which Spicer used the word “ban” as well.
“To be fair, that was Sean Spicer on Sunday. Surely he has not used the term ‘ban’ since then,” Tapper said, before cutting to a clip of Spicer referring to Trump’s order as a ban at a George Washington University event on Monday.
“OK, everybody clear now?” an increasingly baffled Tapper asked. “Nobody should follow the lead of the biased media and call the executive action a ban. Instead, follow the lead of the White House, and call it a ban.”
Watch the takedown here:
— Nolan D. McCaskill (@NolanDMcCaskill) January31, 2017
Tapper’s comments come as CNN wrestles with its diminishing access to Trump’s White House. The administration has stopped sending Trump surrogates to appear on the network in what one source from the network believes is an attempt to punish CNN for its reporting, according to Politico.
Tapper in particular has stood out as a presidential watchdog. A week ago, he forcefully condemned Trump’s false claim that millions of illegal ballots had been cast for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton – a claim for which Trump has provided no evidence.
The executive order Trump signed Friday bars people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days and bars all refugees for 120 days. It bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.