Jake Tapper Throws Newt Gingrich’s 1998 Words About ‘Paid Hacks’ Back at Him


CNN’s Jake Tapper took an apparent shot at Newt Gingrich on Tuesday by playing a clip from 1998 of the former House speaker going after “paid hacks” who were attacking the independent counsel investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Kenneth Starr.

Tapper led into the soundbite by noting that “when Bill Clinton was being investigated by then-independent counsel, Ken Starr, there were efforts to discredit Ken Starr by Democrats.”

Gingrich has been saying recently that special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation is a partisan witch hunt and it’s crazy for Republicans to think he would be fair. However, Tapper went on to say, “But here is what Newt Gingrich had to say about those people attacking Ken Starr back in 1998.”

During his remarks on April 27 of that year, Gingrich blasted the Clinton surrogates’ campaign against the independent counsel:

“The fact is, if he wants to fire Ken Starr, he can do it in the morning. And if he doesn’t want to fire Ken Starr, he can tell his staff to shut up, because…there is something profoundly demeaning and destructive to have the White House systematically undermine an officer of the Department of Justice. And when I watch these paid hacks on television, to be quite honest, I am sickened by how unpatriotically they undermine the Constitution of the United States on behalf of their client.”

Tapper replied, “Interesting words in retrospect.” He then turned to CNN’s Gloria Borger and underlined that “we have seen this play out on the other side with Democrats attacking the credibility of an independent prosecutor… and now, we see ‘paid hacks’ on the other side going after Bob Mueller.”

Borger responded by emphasizing that “in fact, it was Newt Gingrich who said, the other day, that the President could and probably should fire Mueller.”

Minutes later, Tapper clarified what he was getting at with that “paid hack” comment:

You can watch the relevant portion of the segment above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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