Speed Reads


CNN's Jake Tapper explains 'leaks' and 'conspiracy theories' to Trump using Trump's own words

On Monday night, President Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael Flynn; on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Flynn had to go because he'd lost the trust of Trump. On Wednesday, Trump blamed the "fake news media" and its "conspiracy theories" for Flynn's ouster, plus leaks from the intelligence agencies. On CNN Wednesday evening, Jake Tapper ran through the timeline, then got a little bit sassy.

"Of course these stories in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and elsewhere are not conspiracy theories," he said. "These are news stories, sourced by government officials. Conspiracy theories are different — they're false, they're crackpot, they're nonsense. How do I illustrate what a conspiracy theory is? How about this one, about Ted Cruz's father?" He played clips of Trump talking about that JFK assassination canard and Trump's "birther" nonsense, then turned to Trump's railing against leaks.

"Now, no president likes leaks, especially ones that reflect poorly on his administration," Tapper said. "But it's worth noting, candidate Trump's path to power was tread on a road of leaks — leaks against Hillary Clinton" by WikiLeaks and also the FBI, for example, spread (then retracted) by Fox News right before the election. Trump "didn't have trouble with leaks then," Tapper reminded Trump, adding: "It's not a moral position if you only hold it when it applies to you." Watch below. Peter Weber