A US TV journalist cut-off one of Donald Trump’s White House advisers during a spiky interview, accusing the aide of “wasting enough of my viewers’ time” after attacking the TV network he was appearing on.
CNN’s Jake Tapper went head-to-head with Stephen Miller on the Sunday morning State of the Union show in the aftermath of the explosive book Michael Wolff book about the US President’s rise to power.
Extracts from Fire and Fury have raised questions about Trump’s mental health, which in turn led to the former reality TV star to tweet he was a “very stable genius”.
The interview, adversarial throughout, really started to fire up from just after 10 minutes, when Miller unleashed a litany of criticism of CNN when Tapper wanted to discuss Trump’s metal well-being.
“Steven, I’m trying to get to the issue of the president’s fitness,” Tapper said.
“I’m getting to the issue of your fitness,” was Miller’s riposte. “The president’s tweets absolutely reaffirm the plain spoken truth: self made billionaire who revolutionized reality TV, and tapped into something magical that’s happening in the hearts of this country.”
But Tapper responded: “The president has an approval rating in the 30s, I don’t know what’s magical that you’re talking about.”
Miller repeatedly described Trump as a “political genius” and complained about the unfair treatment during the interview.
As Miller continued to vacillate between promoting his boss and condemning “fake news”, Tapper said there was “one viewer you care about right now”, accused Miller of being “obsequious” and sharply ended the interview.
“I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you, Stephen,” Tapper said.
You can watch the full interview at the top of the story, or the pay-off below.
Naturally, the confrontation spilled out on to social media.
Trump, a keen TV viewer, tweeted:
Not that Tapper had anything to hide: