CNN’s Keilar on Trump’s Testing Joke: ‘It Is Not Funny That Americans Are Dying’

Monday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” host Brianna Keilar has a contentious interview with Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.

In a clip from Saturday rally in Tulsa, Trump said, “I said to my people slow the testing down, please.”

Keilar said, “Is that true he’s asked for the testing to be slowed down?”

Murtaugh said, “No, it’s not. As a matter of fact, the United States leads the world in testing. We’ve tested as a nation more than 25 million Americans.”

Keilar asked, “So, why is he saying that then?”

Murtaugh said, “I understand there’s not much of a sense of humor at CNN Center, but the president was joking. Trying to illustrate the point that when you do expand testing, you will naturally expand the number of positive cases that you detect. That is the very point he was making. I’m not surprised that you’re either unable or unwilling to understand the president had a tongue and cheek remark there, but that was the point he’s making.”

Keilar said, “I mean Tim, 120,000 Americans dead and millions of Americans unemployed. I do not think that is funny. Do you think that is funny?”

Murtaugh said, “He was trying to illustrate the point —”

Keilar interrupted, “Is it funny, Tim? Dead Americans? Unemployed Americans? Is that funny to you?”

Murtaugh said, “The president was illustrating the point that American testing has expanded to such lengths that we are now detecting more positive cases. It stands to reason. It stands to reason we will have more positive cases when you do more testing. That’s just a fact.”

Keilar shot back, “You are aware that that hospitalization numbers disprove what you are saying. That testing does not solely account for the numbers we’re seeing, including in Florida, a state that you just held up as a model which it certainly is not. It is not funny Americans are dying. It’s not funny they’re unemployment. Thank you for coming on.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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