Tapper Mocks Fox News’ John Roberts for Saying Trump Seems to be ‘Winning Even As He Is Losing In The Current Vote Count’


CNN anchor Jake Tapper mocked Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts for suggesting that even though President Donald Trump is losing the 2020 election, he still seems “to be winning in a way.”

Roberts advanced the intriguing premise while chatting with Chris Wallace in advance of Trump’s Friday afternoon press conference. So as not to lose even a scintilla of nuance, here is their exchange, word-for-word:

Roberts: I’m told that it’s possible the president may take some questions this afternoon. Obviously I imagine the first questions would be about where he is in terms of if he is going to continue to fight this battle to try to unearth a new votes that could turn around the current vote count or if he will concede. The president does seem, though, in a way, Chris, to be winning even as he is losing in the current vote count because for his die-hard fans, he is trying to make the case that he didn’t really lose the election, that it was taken from him. Is that an argument that he can credibly make?

Wallace: Well not in terms of the numbers, at least so far. Unless we see something from these lawsuits that we haven’t seen so far, which is serious fraud and fraud of a dimension that would overturn that it would actually overturn the results, he’s not losing the states, for instance Pennsylvania, by 500 votes, like Florida in 2000. He is losing it by 40 or 50,000 votes. So unless we see fraud of that dimension, I don’t know that he can incredibly say that the election has been taken from him. But that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to make the argument and as we know, Donald Trump got more votes than any person in history running for president this year.

Roberts: Except Joe Biden.

Wallace: Except for Joe Biden this year. So there are tens of millions of people who love this president and who are in the Trump base and I suspect they will be susceptible to the argument that somehow this election was taken from him.

The clip was flagged by a Twitter user named Andrew Lawrence — who, it should be noted, uploaded the clip in a lower-than-optimal resolution, and is director of rapid response for Media Matters. Lawrence highlighted that portion of Roberts’ question in his caption.

Despite the fact that both Wallace and Roberts correctly agreed and accurately reported that Trump is, in fact, not winning in terms of the number of votes, Tapper and others still mocked Roberts for suggesting Trump may be winning by some other metric that isn’t having the most votes.

Tapper began by quipping “A report from Earth 2,” which is a reference to a short-lived 1990s science fiction show about a far-away planet that’s a substitute for an environmentally ravaged OG Earth, but has come to mean — through usage — an alternate universe-style Earth, like in Sliders or parts of the Back to the Future movies. Actually, it’s more of a parallel universe sort of thing, like in multiple episodes of Star Trek, except Earth 2 exists in this universe, like the original Earth 2.

I suppose they differ in the key respect that the Earth 2 from the show was not in a parallel stage of development, whereas the Earth 2 of the metaphor is. So it’s a hybrid of concepts.

Tapper then posted a meme from the original Twilight Zone featuring a Bill Mumy character who would doom others to “the cornfield” if they displeased him, an analogy to Trump that was cannily referenced in the rebooted series’ first season.

Others mocked Roberts as well, although none with the media clout and journalistic pedigree of a Jake Tapper, or with the subtlety.

It’s unclear why this epic 80s image of Roberts is supposed to be a slam.

Roberts did not respond on Twitter, but did send the following tweets during Trump’s press conference:

UPDATE: Roberts explained his comment in a statement to Mediaite:

During an interview with my colleague Chris Wallace yesterday, my point was that the Trump campaign’s challenges appear to be, in part, an attempt by the President to create a narrative that he is not ‘losing’ the election to Biden, rather, it is being taken from him. He is winning that argument with his supporters and they are convinced that widespread voting irregularities led to the current vote count. In no way was I suggesting President Trump is winning the vote count and I asked Chris Wallace whether that was an argument President Trump could credibly make. Chris responded that based on the vote count, it wasn’t. He was offering his analysis to a question about what President Trump is trying to do.

Watch the clip above via Fox News.

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