CNN continued Monday to push the false claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis as “very fine people” in his remarks about the Charlottesville riot in August 2017.
The network’s White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “But the president used rhetoric after Charlottesville, saying there are ‘very fine people’ on both sides in Charlottesville, essentially suggesting that there are very fine people in the Nazis.”
Sanders responded: “That’s not at all what the president was saying.”
She could have added that Trump had condemned the neo-Nazis several times during the press conference, and used “very fine people” specifically to refer to people who “were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.” The transcript of the press conference leaves absolutely no doubt.
CNN analyst April Ryan, also present in the briefing room, repeated Acosta’s false statement, and asked, “Has he, for us, — because I don’t remember it — condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville?”
But she herself reported it in 2017:
— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) August 15, 2017
Not content with merely reciting the lie, CNN hosts have attempted to give it video backing using a deceptive edit of Trump’s remarks at the time.
On Feb. 25, as Breitbart News reported, Chris Cuomo played a clip of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, then immediately cut to Trump saying at a press conference, “And you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
On Friday, March 8, Anderson Cooper, attempting to rebut Trump’s claims about Democrats being “anti-Jewish,” recited a list of statements that Trump’s critics have attempted to use to accuse him of antisemitism. (The Washington Post‘s Eugene Scott later provided a similar “analysis.) Like Cuomo, Cooper ran the clip of neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, followed by Trump making the “very fine people” statement.
CNN appears to have a policy of deliberately disregarding what the president actually said in Charlottesville, and reporting what he did not say — even editing video deceptively to create a false reality.
Breitbart News has reached out to CNN for comment.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.