Tuesday on CNN’s “At This Hour,” while discussing today’s press conference in which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump got into several heated exchanges with the press, chief political correspondent Dana Bash defended the press tactics and declared it was the media’s job to ask where is the money was.
Bash said, “You know, I’m — I pride myself as we all do on being dispassionate, but this is a situation where I don’t think we should be dispassionate. And the reason is because — let’s just take a step back to where we were and where you guys were in New York leading into this press conference. It was Drew Griffin who was one of the people who not only asked the questions about where this money was going or how much was raised by Donald Trump. But go back a year plus, he was the one who exposed the problems in the VA in the first place. A member of the press corps. That was going to be, we all thought the story of the day. A good news story for Donald Trump, that, yes, as Drew Griffin said it was bumpy, it wasn’t necessarily the cleanest way to do it, but at the end of the day he raised almost $6 million for veterans groups.”
She continued, “Instead, what did he do? He attacked the press, as you said, as sleazy, as dishonest, multiple times. And, you know, not to get too corny about it, but it is the press. Number one, it is our job to ask questions, particularly of public figures, Especially somebody who wants to be the leader of the free world. When they make a promise and they do it in a very public way like he did with this big rally for veterans to say — it is our job to say where is the money, where did it go, how much did you raise? It is a fundamental requirement and responsibility of a free press. It’s what makes us different than North Korea or other places. He hasn’t had to answer questions unlike in his prior life. He’s been a public figure for decades and he hasn’t had to answer questions because he’s been a public figure in the press, if you will, but he’s been a private citizen. It’s a different ball game now. And so it is up to us to ask the questions. I think it’s because people like Drew Griffin and others were asking questions about where this money is going that these veterans groups were able to get this money, and he was able to give all of these big dollar amounts to all of these fabulous organizations. So I think we should just be clear here that the press is very easy target. I get it. We all get it. We all understand why. And it’s understandable why he’s doing that. But in this particular case, he has got to be ready to take questions. And on this particular issue the press did it’s job and did and did it well.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN