Jake Tapper Calls Out WH for ‘Using Reporters as a Prop’ at Presser That Didn’t Follow Social Distancing Guidelines


On Friday, Jake Tapper sharply criticized the White House during his CNN program, The Lead With Jake Tapper, for the way they handled a last-minute press conference that morning, accepting no questions from reporters and failing to follow social distancing guidelines.

CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins noted that “the White House called it a press conference,” but President Donald Trump “did not take any questions, he just made a statement.”

Collins then pointed out that the original set up in the Rose Garden showed the chairs arranged according to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic, at least six feet apart, “as they have been for weeks now at multiple events.” She then referred to a second photo that was shown on the screen, showing the chairs moved much closer together.

“The White House Correspondents Association has put out a statement blasting this move by the White House,” she said, “saying they were basically using reporters as a political prop during that event today by putting them so close together knowingly.”

Collins said that when the White House Press Office was asked why they had moved the chairs, which had been properly social distanced, very close together, “Jake, they said it was because it looks better.”

“Well, of course they were using reporters as a prop,” replied Tapper. “They said it was a press conference and they didn’t take any questions. That’s exactly what they were doing. I guess the question is how long is the White House press association going to go along with it?”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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Sarah Rumpf joined Mediaite in 2020 and is a Contributing Editor focusing on politics, law, and the media. A native Floridian, Sarah attended the University of Florida, graduating with a double major in Political Science and German, and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the UF College of Law. Sarah's writing has been featured at National Review, The Daily Beast, Reason, Law & Crime, Independent Journal Review, Texas Monthly, The Capitolist, Breitbart Texas, Townhall, RedState, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Austin-American Statesman, and her political commentary has led to appearances on the BBC, MSNBC, NewsNation, Fox 35 Orlando, Fox 7 Austin, The Young Turks, The Dean Obeidallah Show, and other television, radio, and podcast programs across the globe.