Speed Reads

election 2020

CNN's Jake Tapper reacts to Trump's election rant: 'What a sad night for the United States of America'

On Thursday night, with his path to reelection narrowing, President Trump delivered a rambling diatribe in which he baselessly claimed widespread voter fraud and conspiracy against him.

One by one, TV networks cut away from the speech by the incumbent commander-in-chief, with ABC News switching to airing Jeopardy!, and NBC News and CBS News likewise transitioning away. MSNBC cut from the speech within just 35 seconds: "Okay, here we are again, in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States, but correcting the president of the United States," the anchor, Brian Williams, said.

On CNN, one of the few networks to air the whole speech uninterrupted, the election team tore into the president when he'd finished talking. "What a sad night for the United States of America to hear their president say that, to falsely accuse people of trying to steal the election, to try to attack democracy that way with his feast of falsehoods. Lie after lie after lie about the election being stolen," Jake Tapper said, adding, "It's time for some Republican lawmakers to find their spine and talk to the president about what he needs to do for the good of the country."

Dana Bash, who was co-anchoring the network's election coverage, said, "I'm not an emotional person, but I'm having trouble keeping it together after listening to what the president said." Abby Phillip likewise added, "This president clearly knows this is not going to end well for him, and he's trying to take the rest of the country down with him."

Even the usually Trump-friendly Fox News, the only other major network to air the whole speech, balked. "We have not seen the hard evidence" of Trump's claims, Fox anchor Bret Baier stressed to his viewers.