CNN was slammed for what many called overwhelmingly negative coverage of President Donald Trump’s visit to the troops on Wednesday night.
The president and first lady Melania Trump surprised military personnel stationed in Iraq the day after Christmas. Their journey was followed by another visit with the troops in Germany.
However, there was barely a kind word expressed towards the president regarding his trip overseas—at least on CNN. The network published a report Wednesday evening drawing attention to the troops who brought MAGA hats for the president to sign being against military guidelines, which forbids active members of the military from participating in “political activities,” Fox News reported.
The story by CNN politics reporter Eli Watkins, headlined “Troops bringing Trump hats to sign may violate military rule,” was mocked by many on social media.
When you’ve run out of dumb anti-Trump stories to write this happens ?? ”Troops bringing Trump hats to sign may violate military rule” https://t.co/zBKS4wjCPi
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) December 27, 2018
Our nation’s hall monitor strikes again. https://t.co/LEhJiEerwh
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) December 27, 2018
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 27, 2018
This is why everyone hates the media -> https://t.co/82eqU6eo9W
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) December 27, 2018
These people are risking their lives for this country and your right to write dumb crap like this. There is nothing wrong with them being excited about a Presidential visit. Trying to get them in trouble for it is pathetic.
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) December 27, 2018
Leave the soldiers alone! Can’t you find anything to bash Trump that does not involve potentially hurting our soldiers? https://t.co/N5thNOoz1c
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) December 27, 2018
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) December 27, 2018
@CNN couldn’t care less about our troops. Shameful
— Brian Rockwood (@brianrockwood) December 27, 2018
CNN Politics’ verified Twitter account was ratioed when Watkins’ story was sent out, which is typically a sign that the majority of readers don’t agree. As of Thursday morning, the tweet received over 3,300 comments, yet had merely 826 likes, which is proportionately low.
Meanwhile, several watchdogs pointed out that President Obama also signed autographs when visiting troops, and the network fawned over him.
It was okay though when President Obama and Michelle went through and signed autographs for all the troops because you like the Obamas and you dont like Trump?
— Rod McCulloch (@ILPollster) December 27, 2018
Absolutely. I had @BarackObama and @JoeBiden at my base and my troops got autographs on all kinds of things, including campaign memorabilia. Never crossed my mind to question there actions because I didn’t need to, dammit.
— Col. Rob Maness ret. (@RobManess) December 27, 2018
CNN’s criticism of Trump visiting the troops wasn’t limited to Watkins report. The network continued a negative tone throughout their evening coverage.
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto blasted Trump for his “routine lying,” while CNN military analyst Mark Hertling criticized Trump for getting “political” during his visit.
Moreover, former Obama State Department spokesman John Kirby even dinged the president for not visiting with Iraqi security forces, who are also part of the fight against ISIS.
Ex-Obama senior advisor David Axelrod told Sciutto that it’s “good” that Trump went to see the troops and that “we should give him credit where credit is due.” Nevertheless, he slammed the president’s political commentary.
“It does give you the sense that this was sort of a box-checking exercise in many ways for the president. It was a serendipitous timing because it clearly was planned before everything that’s happened. And you know, yesterday was kind of an orgy of self-pity and rage on Twitter from the White House,” the CNN political commentator said. “So it changed the subject, it put him in a much better position coming with all the turmoil in the Defense Department. It’s a valuable thing but peculiar in many other ways.”
So CNN is now labeling Trump as "the Grinch" who stole Christmas from the troops in Iraq.
This of course comes after they spent an entire day railing on Trump for not visiting troops during Christmastime (even though it turned out he had a scheduled trip to Iraq) pic.twitter.com/xWXnWSUyRC
— Caleb Hull ???? (@CalebJHull) December 27, 2018
CNN anchor Don Lemon took shots at Trump for visiting the troops while the U.S. Coast Guard continues to work without pay during the partial government shutdown and later referred to Trump as “The Grinch” for making Christmas about him as well as his visit with the troops, Fox reported. Former NSA advisor Samantha Vinograd agreed, saying the president “should’ve stayed home.”
Later on, CNN’s April Ryan said Trump’s visit with the troops “should have happened a long time ago” and questioned whether everyone “should be commending him” for something presidents have done in the past.