CNN journalists debate, fret about Team Trump's 'hostility to facts' and 'denial of real news'

CNN journalists discuss Donald Trump and the truth
(Image credit: CNN/YouTube)

Anderson Cooper and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, butted heads on Wednesday night over CNN's report that Trump was presented with unverified information that Russia has compromising personal material on him. Conway had flatly denied CNN's report and called it "fake news," but Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Vice President Joe Biden took the unusual step of more or less publicly confirming the report. "That's not fake information, that's not fake news, that's accurate reporting," Cooper said on Thursday night.

"I agree with Kellyanne Conway," Cooper added. "If we were wrong, we would admit it, but we were not wrong — she was. The question is, will she hold herself and her team to the same standard?" Conway had declined an invitation to come on so Cooper turned to Jake Tapper, Jim Sciutto, and Jim Acosta. Tapper said he doesn't expect a mea culpa "because this has been the modus operandi for President-elect Trump and his team, to say what they believe to be true even if it is disputed by facts, and then stick with it." After Trump's "fact-free campaign," he said, the media can't get "hung up" on whether Trump recants his falsehoods. "Our attitude just kind of has to be: It doesn't matter; what we're presenting needs to be right and it's our bond with the viewers," he said.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.