This morning, a CNN interview with Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart completely broke down after Stewart claimed CNN was exploiting Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer’s death, using the tragedy to push an agenda while refusing to admit “both sides” were responsible for the violence.
It appears that this might actually be a specific strategy by Trump-supporting Republicans as GOP operatives and former Missouri Republican Party chairman Ed Martin essentially did the same thing hours later. In a segment on Heyer’s mother Susan Bro saying she doesn’t want to speak to the president now following his controversial Charlottesville remarks, Martin told anchor Kate Bolduan she and the network were using Heyer’s death as a “political cudgel.”
“I played what a grieving mother said,” Bolduan reacted. “This is what she said. This is her explanation. She said she did put out that statement after his comments Monday when he named and disavowed and named and shamed white supremacist groups. When she looked at the clip from Tuesday, this is now how she feels.”
She then pressed Martin, “You don’t think we should play her comments?”
The Republican claimed that by putting Bro’s comments about Trump on at the top of the hour showed they were trying to whip up emotions against the president.
“This idea CNN would put at the top of the hour this clip and say, ‘Look at that, isn’t the president wrong?’ When you lose a child, you don’t get to have a political calculation foisted upon you by CNN or anybody else,” Martin said.
This led to Bolduan and Martin going back and forth over Martin’s accusation until the CNN anchor finally let other panelists in, telling the GOPer that they were just talking in circles at that point.
Fellow panelists Keith Boykin and Ana Navarro would later weigh in, with Boykin wondering aloud why Republicans are now against victims can’t speak out on tragedy when they were for it after Benghazi, leading Marin to exclaim he never said that.
After Martin stated that everyone on the network is trying to blame the president for everything, Bolduan once again stopped him.
“Coming on my show to blame and shame me — why did you do it?” she asked. “I’m just trying to ask questions.”
Eventually, Navarro would jump in, telling Bolduan to not respond to this because “they are babies” who “want to change the subject.” Bolduan was able to move on to another subject, but not before saying this:
“We are going end this conversation. It really isn’t a fight. You know when I fight what it looks like. Susan Bro’s comment was think before you speak. Let’s leave it there and move on, which is what Republicans are saying, not the media, what Republicans, Ed, are saying about Donald Trump.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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