CNN’s Acosta: Comparing Trump Rally to Protests ‘an Apples and Oranges Comparison’

On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta stated that comparing President Trump’s rally to the recent protests is “sort of an apples and oranges comparison.” And the White House is “willing to take this risk, even if experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say this is a very bad idea.”

Acosta said, “I think that the president understands that his re-election hopes are tied to motivating this base. And so, this has become almost his top priority right now, if not his top priority. I will tell you, when we asked the Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, about this earlier today, she said there are no reservations inside the White House about having this rally. I asked Kayleigh McEnany whether or not she’s going to wear a mask. She’s going to be at the rally tomorrow night. She says she will not. She says it’s a personal choice for people who work at the White House. But Anderson, as you and I know, I mean, essentially, the president has politicized — the White House has politicized this issue of wearing masks. But given all of that, the Trump Campaign Manager, Brad Parscale, says he may wear a mask tomorrow night, and Kevin Hassett the president’s Economic Adviser, said if he were going, he would wear a mask. So, they’re all over the place on this issue. But listen to what Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier today, he said in an interview with CBS Radio, that you should avoid large gatherings, and if you can’t do that, always wear a mask, and here you have the White House press secretary essentially saying, she’s not going to listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice.”

Acosta added that at the Coronavirus Task Force meeting, “We know that concerns about large gatherings were raised, and it was done in a non-specific way, I’m told, by a source close to the task force. Anderson, they have had multiple task force meetings over the last couple of weeks, ever since we’ve known the president was going to have this rally, and my understanding, from talking to my sources is that, at these task force meetings, they have not raised the issue of the Trump rally in Tulsa, which is incredible. Because this is the very place where you would go and be able to hear from public health experts as to whether this is a good idea. Anderson, I’ll tell you, I talked to another administration official this evening. You get the sense that they’re hell-bent on having these rallies no matter what. They’re looking at these demonstrations in the streets, these protests in the streets that have happened since the killing of George Floyd, and they are saying, well, if they can have their protests, they can have their demonstrations, why can’t we have these rallies in places like Tulsa? Not really understanding that it is sort of an apples and oranges comparison. But it seems, Anderson, they’re willing to take this risk, even if experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say this is a very bad idea.”

Acosta concluded, “The Trump campaign is having people sign waivers that say, if you come into this rally, you give up all recourse, in terms of suing the president or any of the organizers of the event, which is incredible. Because you’re going to have people going into this rally tomorrow. You just saw on the live shot…who just aren’t going to wear masks and they’re not going to be social distancing. When we asked Kayleigh McEnany about this, she said, well, CDC guidelines are recommended but not required. Well, of course, they’re recommended and not required. There’s no way for them to socially distance inside a crowded arena. So, they’re just not dealing with the reality of the situation, and that’s what we’ve been hearing from our sources all throughout this, Anderson.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.