CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta joined Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday and railed against those closest to President Donald Trump following the president’s meandering speech in the Rose Garden a short time earlier. In what was supposed to be a press conference, according to Acosta, Trump spent 53 minutes talking and only 10 minutes taking questions. Among Trump’s talking points were Joe Biden, Democrats, China and the coronavirus. Many in the media, including Fox News anchor Bret Baier, claimed Trump’s performance in the Rose Garden more resembled a campaign rally speech than a press conference.
“Is there anyone around the president who, you know, shakes their head when they hear him rambling in the Rose Garden like this?” Cooper asked. “No, Anderson, we are down to Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin here at the Trump White House,” Acosta replied. “There are no more adults who will level with the president and tell him he can’t deliver a rally-like rant in the Rose Garden as he did earlier this evening.”
Acosta later reiterated his point about the people closest to Trump, and said he thinks that what happened Tuesday will become the norm.
“There aren’t any adults to rein him in to make sure that he doesn’t do what he did in that Rose Garden earlier this evening,” Acosta said. “And what I think we’re left with for the rest of this campaign cycle is the president using the Rose Garden like a rally space.”
The White House put out a press release claiming there would be a press conference in the Rose Garden, and Acosta accused them of intentionally misleading the press.
“What we saw tonight was a bait-and-switch,” Acosta said. “They told us it was gonna be a press conference. The White House put out a press release that said he’s having a press conference in the Rose Garden. He spoke — he went on that rambling tirade for 53 minutes, and then took 10 minutes of questions.”
Of Trump’s “rambling tirade,” Acosta said, “We heard him check all of the boxes that you would hear checked at a rally. He went off on Hunter Biden. He went off on immigration. At one point, he was making these magical claims that the wall was going to be finished by the end of the year, or almost completed by the end of the year. That is not true.”
“One of the reasons why the rallies aren’t covered as much anymore,” Acosta said, “is because the president can’t be relied upon to tell the truth at those kinds of events.”
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