CNN’s Jake Tapper initially denied any attempt to interfere in a Pennsylvania House race by convincing Republican Sean Parnell not to run in the 17th District, but a direct message on Twitter shows he wasn’t being completely honest.
The Political Insider covered the story earlier this week, noting that it had been alleged that Tapper attempted to convince Parnell, who is running against Democrat incumbent Connor Lamb, to pick a different district to run in.
Critics have claimed the suggestion was an attempt to protect Lamb’s seat.
“Jake knows exactly what he is doing here,” a source told Breitbart News. “This is a swing district in a swing state — Jake knows that Sean can bring out voters that might otherwise stay home but if they come out, they’re voting for Trump.”
The source added, “Those votes could deliver the state and the election to Trump. This is nothing short of a CNN anchor interfering in a national election.”
The Denial and the Proof
Former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell sent a direct message to Tapper asking if the allegations were true.
“Is it true you asked Sean Parnell to not run against Conor Lamb?” Grenell asked.
The CNN anchor responded simply, “Nope.”
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Grenell followed up that “they are saying they have texts from you.”
“Not true?” he asked.
Fox News obtained a direct message from Tapper in 2019 sent to Parnell’s account the day after he announced his candidacy.
“And best of luck in your race. For the record, I wasn’t trying to talk you out of running — I was trying to talk you into running in a safer [Republican] district! Lol,” he wrote.
Why are you, as an alleged journalist, trying to talk anybody into or out of running in an election, Jacob?
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 10, 2020
Criticism Rains Down
Tapper was bombarded with criticism, some of whom viewed his private messaging to Parnell as meddling in an election.
Grenell, having been lied to by the anchor, blasted Tapper’s actions and the bias of his network while noting that his personal employment background makes the interference especially egregious.
“The [CNN] bias is serious. We all know this,” Grenell tweeted. “But when [Tapper], a former Democrat Hill staffer from Pennsylvania, tries to manipulate a Pennsylvania Congressional race while hosting a nightly news show, the cable network MUST take action.”
CNN’s @JakeTapper went way harder & spent way more time & energy trying to convince @SeanParnellUSA not to run against democrat Rep. Conor Lamb than he did interviewing Joe Biden. That only makes sense if you’re a democrat operative — not a journalist. https://t.co/M3U4dPsVSy
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 11, 2020
Others pointed out that it was the lying that was of bigger concern, even after Tapper had been warned that they might have messages proving his attempted interference in Parnell’s decisionmaking.
“Honestly don’t think that Tapper advising Parnell that he might be better off running in a different district (probably true!) is a big deal,” writer AG Hamilton suggested. “But the flat-out denial contradicted by this DM is a real issue.”
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