CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta tore into President Donald Trump’s campaign-like Rose Garden speech on Tuesday night, claiming the reason no one in the White House stopped it is because the staff is “down to Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin.”
In what was initially billed as a press conference to announce China sanctions, the president quickly veered off into a rambling stream-of-consciousness rant that echoed one of his rally performances. Repeatedly attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump aired a series of grievances and characterized Democrats as hating America so much that they “wouldn’t mind” if terrorists blew up their cities.
“Presidents do not use the Rose Garden in that kind of naked political fashion,” he added. “That was not a press conference, as the WH described it. It was a campaign rally disguised as a press conference. It was a bait and switch.”
Hours later, Acosta appeared on anchor Anderson Cooper’s program to discuss the presser, which Cooper described as a “meandering screed” that shows “how numb we are” because we no longer find it surprising.
After blasting Trump for peddling more lies about the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed nearly 140,000 Americans, the CNN anchor wondered aloud if there was anybody in the administration who could steer Trump away from these spectacles.
“No, Anderson, we’re down to Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin here at the Trump White House,” the reporter snarked in response. “There are no more adults that will level with the president and tell him he can’t deliver a rally-like rant in the Rose Garden as he did earlier.”
Acosta went on to say that one of the reasons most networks no longer carry the president’s rallies is because he can’t be relied upon to tell the truth, adding that Trump had taken a place meant to be free of presidential politics and “plunged it headfirst into a cesspool of campaign politicking.”
After reporting on some of the lowlights of the speech, the CNN correspondent reiterated that there was nobody in the White House who would “rein him in,” adding that he believes Trump will continue to utilize the Rose Garden as a rally space.