CNN’s Tapper Spars With Peter Navarro for Claiming Trump’s ‘Slow the Testing’ Remarks Were ‘Tongue in Cheek’


CNN’s Jake Tapper and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro had a massive clash over President Donald Trump’s frequency of downplaying the coronavirus pandemic.

As Navarro joined Tapper on Sunday for State of the Union, the CNN host started things off by playing footage of Trump complaining to his rallygoers in Tulsa that U.S. Covid-19 case numbers keep going up because of expanded testing. This culminated with the president saying “I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please,'” which the White House claimed to be a joke shortly after.

“C’mon now, Jake, that was tongue in cheek,” Navarro repeatedly said.

“I don’t know that it was tongue in cheek at all,” Tapper countered. “He has said similar things for months.”

As Navarro asked to move on to the “serious issues,” Tapper responded “I think testing is a very serious issue. I’m not the one making jokes about it.”

“Come on! It was a light moment,” Navarro complained.

Tapper refused to move on though, saying “I’m not sure that a deadly pandemic, where almost 120,000 Americans died, is really a good subject for a ‘light moment.'”

Since Navarro claimed Trump takes those deaths “absolutely seriously,” Tapper eventually moved on by grilling him on how Trump’s rally “flies in the face” of the CDC’s health and safety guidelines.

“Jake, you know this is not my lane,” Navarro answered, to which, Tapper eventually pressed him further on his past recommendations that Trump take the pandemic more seriously.

Watch the rest of that conversation above, via CNN.

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