White House adviser Peter Navarro was seemingly cut off by CNN host Jake Tapper during an episode of “State of the Union” on Sunday after the two got into a heated debate about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The interview lasted for several minutes with Tapper giving Navarro the floor to speak at the beginning of the sitdown. Things escalated quickly, however, and the exchange was abruptly shut down after the conversation devolved into a political fight.
“I’m not giving you ten minutes to do this,” Tapper said at one point as Navarro walked him through a decision timeline. The former ABC White House correspondent then began continually attacking President Trump and periodically interrupted Navarro to refute his points.
“This is not fair, Jake. You’re constantly interrupting me and you’re not letting me talk,” Navarro shot back as the two continued. When Tapper said he was dodging the question, Navarro replied, “You just don’t like the answer.”
Eventually, Tapper accused the president of not being transparent with the public and asked Navarro why the government hasn’t been more open about COVID-19.
“Why wasn’t the president straightforward with the American people?” he asked. “He was straightforward,” Navarro replied. “You’re cherry-picking…You just don’t want to listen, Jake.”
Tapper claimed Trump “knew [COVID] was deadlier than the flu” and “was lying to the American public two weeks later.”
Navarro flipped the script and accused CNN of lying to the American people, which led Tapper to end the interview.
“You’re not honest with the American people,” Navarro replied. “CNN is not honest with the American people. Do you want to go there? We can do that.”
Tapper then thanked him for coming on and said public mockery and shaming of CNN will not change the network’s style of reporting — just as Navarro was saying, “I answered your question.”
“Okay. Peter Navarro, thank you so much. I appreciate your time today,” Tapper concluded. “And I would just like to remind the American people watching that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, and the United States has more than 20 percent of the world’s coronavirus deaths. That is a fact. It does not matter how many times he insults CNN.”