Navarro Grows Irate As He Accuses CNN Host Of ‘Cherry Picking’ Trump’s COVID Downplay

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Navarro spoke on former Nat... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House June 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Navarro spoke on former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book “The Room Where It Happened.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 13, 2020 11:50 a.m.
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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday found himself in a heated exchange with CNN’s Jake Tapper as the anchor took him to task on President Trump’s purposeful downplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic in its early stages, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book.

When pressed on why Trump misled the public on COVID-19 — citing his remarks to Woodward in a Feb. 7 interview when the President privately expressed fear over COVID-19 after being warned by national security officials in late January that it would be the worst pandemic in a century, which contrasted his public downplaying of the threat in the following weeks — Navarro brought up Trump’s so-called travel ban on China imposed at the end of January and plans that the White House made in early February in preparation for COVID-19.

After calling Navarro out for dodging his question, Tapper grilled him on the stark contrast between Trump’s public comments versus his remarks those to Woodward on COVID-19.

“Why wasn’t the president straightforward with the American people?” Tapper asked.

Navarro insisted that Trump was “straightforward” before accusing Tapper of “cherry-picking.”

Tapper continued pressing Navarro to answer his question as he denied that he was “cherry-picking.”

After Navarro defended Trump’s comments again and claimed that “CNN is not honest with the American people,” Tapper abruptly ended the interview by talking over Navarro — who insisted that he “answered the question” — and reminding the American public of the country’s dire statistics on COVID-19.

“I would just like to remind the American people that are watching that the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population, and the United States has more than 20% of the world’s coronavirus deaths,” Tapper said. “That is a fact. It does not matter how many times he insults CNN.”

Watch Navarro’s remarks below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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