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CNN Abruptly Takes Trump Spox Off The Air Mid-Interview

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


CNN abruptly removed Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt from the air on Monday morning, just days before the network is set to host the first presidential debate between her boss, Donald Trump, and President Joe Biden.

Anchor Kasie Hunt ended the interview on CNN “This Morning” just minutes after it started by asking Leavitt what Trump’s plan was for Thursday (June 27) when he goes on stage in Atlanta, Georgia.

Leavitt noted the debate stage would likely be a “hostile environment” for Trump, accusing CNN’s debate moderators, co-hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, of biased coverage of him in the past.

Hunt quickly replied that her coworkers were “professionals,” then she played a bunch of pre-recorded clips of the former president talking about what he thinks moderators will do to him.

There were several times when Hunt shouted over Leavitt when she tried to say that she was “stating facts that your colleagues have said in the past.”

Below is a transcript of the exchange, via Mediaite:

KASIE HUNT: Joining me now is Karoline Leavitt. She is Trump campaign national press secretary. Karoline, thanks very much for being here on the show. We played that to remind everyone that that was some of what they saw on the debate stage in 2020. Of course, President Trump went on to lose that election to Joe Biden. Can you tell us what Donald Trump is going to do differently on the debate stage this time?

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KAROLINE LEAVITT: Sure. Well, President Trump is well-prepared ahead of Thursday’s debates. Unlike Joe Biden, he doesn’t have to hide away and have his advisers tell him what to say. President Trump knows what he wants to say, and he’s going to relay his vision to the American people to make this country strong, safe, secure and wealthy again. He’s been doing that across this great nation to all corners of this country. That’s why he was in Detroit, Michigan last week. He was in Philadelphia for a big rally on Saturday night.

And that’s why President Trump is knowingly going into a hostile environment on this very network, on CNN, with debate moderators who have made their opinions about him very well known over the past eight years and their biased coverage of him. So President Trump is willing to bring his message to every corner of this country to voters to ensure that he wins this election in November. He looks forward to doing that. And I know the American public look forward to hearing from him.

KASIE HUNT: So. So I’ll just say, my colleagues, that Jake Tapper and Dana Bash have acquitted themselves as professionals as they have covered campaigns and interviewed candidates from all sides of the aisle.

I’ll also say that if you talk to analysts of debates, previous, that if you’re attacking the moderators, you’re usually losing.

So I really want to focus in on what these two men are going to do and say when they stand on the stage now. Now we have a little bit of what, Donald Trump, your boss, has said in trying to set expectations for this debate, I want to play some of a series of his comments and then we’ll talk about it. Watch.

DONALD TRUMP VIDEO CLIP: Maybe I’m better off losing the debate…

KASIE HUNT: So he’s basically saying there, well, will I let Joe Biden win? It does seem as though many Republicans have set the bar very low in terms of arguing that Joe Biden is basically senile.

Now you have people like Doug Burgum coming out and saying, well, President Biden’s very accomplished, trying to set expectations in a different place. What do you expect from Joe Biden?

KAROLINE LEAVITT: Well, first of all, it’s it’s it takes about five minutes to Google Jake Tapper, Donald Trump to see that Jake Tapper has.

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KASIE HUNT: Ma’am, we’re going to stop this interview if you’re going to keep attacking my colleagues.

(CROSSTALK)

KASIE HUNT: Ma’am, I’m going to stop you if you continue to attack my colleagues. I would like to talk about Joe–.

KAROLINE LEAVITT: I have stated–.

KASIE HUNT: and Donald Trump, who you work for– yes. If you are here to speak on his behalf I am willing to have this conversation.

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KAROLINE LEAVITT: I am stating facts that your colleagues have stated in the past–

KASIE HUNT: Now I’m sorry. We’re going to come back after the panel. Karoline, thanks very much for your time. You are welcome to come back at any point. (DUMPS VIDEO).

She is welcome to come back and speak about Donald Trump. And Donald Trump will have equal time to Joe Biden when they both join us now at next. Early later this week in Atlanta for this debate. Our thanks to Karoline.

WATCH:

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