Wednesday on CNN’s “The Lead,” host Jake Tapper made light of charges of antisemitism aimed at freshman Rep. IIhan Omar (D-MN) with a “rogue” control room routine that included footage of President Donald Trump.
During the segment, “The Lead” host told his staff to show tweets and clips of Omar, but instead, they showed footage of Trump and his tweets.
Partial transcript as follows (courtesy of Newsbusters.org):
JAKE TAPPER: There’s been a lot in the news about bigotry. Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this week was accused by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats of spreading “anti-Semitic tropes.” Omar has apologized, but our own Manu Raju found her quite unwilling to discuss the controversy when he asked her about it today.
DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR (MN): Are you serious? What is wrong with you?
MANU RAJU: I’m asking you a question about your tweet. You had a tweet saying that President Trump trafficked in hate.
OMAR: Yes. I tweeted, and there’s a response. You can run that. Have a nice day.
TAPPER: Omar’s apology that she referred to there was not good enough for President Trump.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. [SCREEN WIPE] What he said is so deep seeded in her heart ask that her lame apology and that’s what it was — it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress, frankly, but at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees.
TAPPER: An amen came Vice President Pence, who tweeted: “[To] those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words.” Congresswoman Omar specifically suggested financial are what fuel support for Israel. She tweeted: “It’s all about the benjamins, baby.” And when asked to whom she was referring, she tweeted, “AIPAC,” the pro-Israel lobbying organization. Because there is nothing that this Whtie House finds more offensive than a politician feeding into stereotypes about Jews and Jewish money and controlling politicians, which is what Omar is accused of having done.
DONALD TRUMP [on 12/03/15 to the Republican Jewish Coalition]: Is there anybody that doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room? This room negotiates like — I want to renegotiate — this room — perhaps more than any room I have spoken to. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] More than any room. That’s okay. I’ve been called on that a couple of times too. [SCREEN WIPE] You’re not going to support me even though you’re the best thing that could happen to Israel and I’ll be that, and I know why you’re not going to support me and, you know, you’re not going to support me because I won’t want your money. [SCREEN WIPE] You don’t want to give me money, okay? But that’s okay. You want to control your own politicians. That’s fine.
TAPPER: I’m sorry. That was the wrong clip. That was then-candidate Trump in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition suggesting that haggling Jews like to control politicians with their money. We wanted the clip of Congresswoman Omar. Control room, I want the — the Omar clip. Give us the Omar clip. There — wait, no, that’s not it either. That’s a deleted Donald Trump retweet from 2016 as conservative Erick Erickson tweeted at the time “A Star of David, a pile of cash, and suggestions of corruption. Donald Trump again plays to the white supremacists.” Control room, I’m not looking for stuff about Trump. I’m looking for the Congresswoman Omar clip. Do you have it? I’m being told we have it. Thank you. Run it, please.
TRUMP [on 08/16/17]: Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as — and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
TAPPER: No. Control room that was president trump saying that very fine people were marching alongside neo-Nazis and skinheads and white supremacists — people who had chanted “Jews will not —” Yes. Those people. The anti-Semites in Charlottesville. My sincerest apologies. Can we please forget about President Trump for a second? Can we show the Omar tweet? Please, the Omar tweet. Can you show it, please? Ah, that’s not — this isn’t it either — unbelievable. This is a tweet by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy right before the midterms saying: “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY [in all caps] this election.” Of course, that’s an allegation by the House Republican leader. The three wealthy liberals, all of whom happen to be of Jewish descent were trying to buy the election. Guys, I’m not talking about that either. Okay, I’m sorry. We’re going to take a quick break. We seem to have some issues here sorting out which anti-Semitic tropes are offensive and which ones are not. We’ll be right back as we sort this out.
Later, a CNN staffer insisted on Twitter that Tapper was “kidding to make a point.”
Everyone calm down. He was kidding to make a point. https://t.co/wUZyqTZzES
— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) February 13, 2019
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor