Jake Tapper Runs Interference for Maxine Waters Inciting Wild Protests

During CNN’s impeachment pre-game show on Wednesday morning, Dana Bash reported that former President Trump’s lawyers are rushing to create videos showing Democrats using the same kind of rhetoric that House managers argue Trump should be convicted for. According to Jake Tapper, that would be an unfair criticism, because no violence came from them.

Tapper focused on California Rep. Maxine Waters screaming at a crowd in 2018 to publicly harass Trump officials, arguing, “on the point “oh well, Democrats have called for violence before and Democrats have used the word ‘fight’ in speeches before,” I think it’s fair to say that Congresswoman Maxine Waters is somebody who a few years ago during child separation, she said something very fiery about get in the face of Trump Administration officials and push back which is not the same thing as go and fight at the Capitol.”

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This is a odd take from CNN, where they worry that whenever reporters get yelled at at Trump rallies, they’re going to be killed.

Waters may have cleared Tapper’s lowest of low bars, but her remarks still led CNN’s Chris Cillizza to refer to her “strategy” as a “stone-cold loser.” Still, Tapper continued in his defense of Waters, “But it wasn’t followed by a bunch of people in Maxine Waters T-shirts storming Sarah Sanders at restaurants and attacking. That didn’t happen. If it had, I’m sure Congresswoman Waters would have been criticized, but it didn’t.”

One wonders how Tapper would have liked it if Trump told people to surround his house and scream “no peace, no sleep!” Tapper didn’t remind the CNN audience of Waters in 2017 telling an LGBT event she was going “to take Trump out tonight.” Is that just “very fiery”?

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He also conveniently forgets the agitated mobs that harassed Republicans outside the White House during the summer at the RNC. Two summers ago, there was the firebombing of an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington, carried out by someone who parroted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “concentration camp” rhetoric. And of course, there was the man in 2017 who nearly assassinated a group of Republican congressman practicing for a charity baseball game who supported Bernie Sanders, who constantly ties GOP health care policies to people dying.

The events on and leading up to January 6 were horrible, but the history of incendiary rhetoric that went too far did not begin with Donald Trump. Tapper’s defense-lawyering here suggests incendiary rhetoric is fine if nobody acts on it.

This segment was sponsored by Applebee’s.

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Here is a transcript for the February 10 show:

CNN

CNN Impeachment Coverage

11:15 AM ET

JAKE TAPPER: And Abby, on the point “oh well, Democrats have called for violence before and Democrats have used the word ‘fight’ in speeches before,” I think it’s fair to say that Congresswoman Maxine Waters is somebody who a few years ago during child separation, she said something very fiery about get in the face of Trump Administration officials and push back which is not the same thing as go and fight at the Capitol. It raised a lot of eyebrows. But it wasn’t followed by a bunch of people in Maxine Waters T-shirts storming Sarah Sanders at restaurants and attacking. That didn’t happen. If it had, I’m sure Congresswoman Waters would have been criticized, but it didn’t.

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