Both sides are claiming victory in a Sunday national TV dustup between President Donald Trump, through pugnacious White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, and "Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN," leading to the president and the TV host tweeting followups.
Tapper's interview turned combative as Miller ripped "garbage author of a garbage book" – Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" – and as the CNN "State of the Union" host questioned the truth in book's details and the role of Steve Bannon in the White House.
"Your network's been going 24/7 with all the salacious coverage, and I know it brings a lot of you guys a lot of joy to try to stick the knife in, but the reality is that page after page after page of the book is pure false," Miller told Tapper during a particularly heated exchange during the 12-minute appearance. "I see sections of the book where events I participated in are described — and I have first-hand knowledge — as they're described, they're completely and utterly fraudulent.
". . . You get 24 hours of negative anti-trump hysterical coverage on this network that led in recent weeks to spectacularly embarrassing false reporting."
President Trump tweeted twice following the exchange, supporting Miller, denouncing Tapper as a "CNN flunky," a vowing to win the argument of attacks in the media.
"It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive, and the whole White House staff is deeply disappointed in his comments, which were grotesque," Miller told Tapper before the conversation unraveled.
". . .And with respect to the Trump Tower meeting that [Bannon's] talking about [in Wolff's book], [Bannon] wasn't even there when any of this went down. So, he's not a remotely credible source on any of it.
"It reads like an angry, vindictive person spouting off to a highly discreditable author. The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction. And I also will say that the author is a garbage author of a garbage book. And the tragic thing about this — and there are many things about it that are unfortunate — but the portrayal of the president in the book is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him."
When Miller continued with his support of the president, Tapper cut him off saying "I get it: There's one viewer that you care about right now [referring to Trump], and you're being obsequious in order to please him. I think I've wasted enough of my viewers' time."
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