CNN’s Tapper: Trump and McCarthy ‘Are Very Different Historical Figures, But There Is Something Similar’

On Tuesday’s edition of CBS’ “Late Show,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper stated that resident Trump and Joseph McCarthy are “very different historical figures, but there is something similar.”

Host Stephen Colbert asked Tapper if he thinks the criticisms of Trump by outgoing Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Bob Corker (R-TN) constitute “an act of defiance, is this an act of surrender, in your opinion?”

Tapper responded by saying he doesn’t think Flake or McCain (R-AZ) voted for Trump and they both made their opposition to Trump “fairly clear” during the election. Tapper added, “I don’t think it’s an act of surrender. I think that the Steve Bannons and Breitbarts of the world see that, and say that Trump broke Flake. Trump is breaking these people. And it is, in a good — in a way for them — in a way for Trump, it’s good that they’re leaving. But I think we’re in a different period right now.”

He continued, “I’ve been reading a lot about the ’50s lately. And there was a period — you know, Joe McCarthy started in the late 40s, his crusade of indecency and smears and lies. And you know, President Trump and Joe McCarthy are very different historical figures, but there is something similar. They say, ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.’ And when you read about that era, Joe McCarthy was doing indecent things and lying, for years and years, with Republican senators — and Democrats — not saying anything. And there were people like Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, and others, who stood on the Senate floor and condemned it. But mostly, people were quiet, and history looks back at that time and says, ‘Boy, what a bunch of wusses. They were wrong.’ And I think when Senator Jeff Flake today said that, you know, we’re going to — there’s going to be a reckoning. People are going to look back at this era and say, ‘What were you doing with all’ — it’s not McCarthyism, but it’s something else — ‘all this indecency and all these lies? What did do you during that time?’ It’s something I think about all the time as an interviewer, and as a broadcaster. It’s important — you know, there aren’t two sides when it comes to the truth. There’s one side: the truth.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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