Sunday on ABC “This Week,” Trump homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Tom Bossert said “no one would perceive” Trump’s tweet showing him wrestling a CNN logo “as a threat.”
Partial transcript as follows:
RADDATZ: Obviously President Trump has taken some video and put a CNN mic logo on who he’s beating up. Can I just get your reaction to that?
BOSSERT: Well, my first time seeing it, Martha, but, first, thank you for having me on the show. I very much appreciate it. I guess my first reaction to that tweet would be the same as any of the president’s tweets. There’s a lot of cable news shows that reach directly into hundreds of thousands of viewers, and they’re really not always very fair to the president. So I’m proud of the president for developing a Twitter and a social media platform where he can talk directly to the American people. In fact, he’s the most genuine president and the most non-politician president that we’ve seen in my lifetime. And he’s demonstrated — whatever the content of that particular tweet is or any tweet, he’s demonstrated a genuine ability to communicate to the people.
RADDATZ: He certainly can communicate to the people. But I want to ask you is that the kind of communication you want, that he’s beating up on somebody?
BOSSERT: Well —
RADDATZ: That’s beating up on the media? You’re in charge of homeland security there. That seems like a threat.
BOSSERT: Yes, it’s certainly not, though. I think that no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t. But I do think that he’s beating up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to. And that he does that regularly so…
RADDATZ: And you don’t think that’s a threat to anyone? You don’t think that’s sending a message, do that to the media, do that to CNN?
BOSSERT: No, I certainly don’t. I don’t think so. And I think that importantly here, he’s a genuine president expressing himself genuinely. And to be honest, I think that’s why he was elected. He’s the most genuine person and the people that see politicians and then see him find him to be someone that they can understand and relate to. And so…
RADDATZ: OK, I’ve got to stay on this for a minute.
RADDATZ: Sarah Sanders said recently the president in no way, form or fashion, has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.
RADDATZ: He’s simply pushing back defending himself. But you know what happened to Congressman Scalise. And you have these…
RADDATZ: — messages out there against the media. The media has had — and I hate this to be all about us, but he’s making it about us, or particularly CNN, I suppose. Some people had to get private security guards.
RADDATZ: Is that really fair?
BOSSERT: Yes, so I think that the most important part of my message isn’t just that he’s genuine, it’s that he’s found a way of communicating directly to the people without going through whatever the media (INAUDIBLE) is.
RADDATZ: But I understand that. I’m talking about the message…
BOSSERT: And he…
RADDATZ: — not how he communicates.
BOSSERT: But it’s a good example of you or the media producers here deciding what it is that we’re talking about and what it is we don’t talk about. And so with respect, I think that’s why he needs to go around you and the producers that control the message and directly to the people and whatever he cares about is speaking about that day. And occasionally, he cares to speak about those cable programs that are beating up on him unfairly.
RADDATZ: And with respect, we do talk about other issues and then when something like this comes up, it distracts from what we really wanted to talk about.
BOSSERT: And you’re a very substantive person and I know we’re going to talk about substantive issues.
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