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CNN Claims Trump Pulled a ‘Bait and Switch’ on Immigration Plans

CNN Claims Trump Pulled a ‘Bait and Switch’ on Immigration Plans

“Test balloons. How do they work?” — CNN, probably.

CNN is upset Trump misled them about his plans to support a pathway to legalisation for DREAMers.

Before his Joint Address Tuesday night, Trump met with reporters and talked about the need for “compromise” in the coming immigration legislation.

CNN reported Tuesday:

President Donald Trump wants to pass an immigration reform bill that could grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the US.

“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House.
The President is eager to pass a compromise immigration bill in his first term that would stop short of granting a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, but would allow undocumented immigrants who aren’t serious or violent criminals to live, work and pay taxes in the US without fear of deportation, a senior administration official said.

The story was out long enough for the administration to gauge reaction and prepare or adjust Trump’s remarks accordingly. Thought he mentioned compromise across party boundaries, there was no mention of a pathway to legalisation for kids brought to the U.S. without proper entry or status.

Later, CNN claimed they’d been victim of a misinformation campaign:

SARA MURRAY: Let’s just change gears entirely and talk about the bait and switch that the president pulled when it came to immigration yesterday. He had this meeting with the anchors, he talked about a path to legal status. Basically they fed up things that they thought these anchors would like, that they thought would give them positive press coverage for the next few hours. A senior administration official admitted that it was a misdirection play. And you will note that when the president was actually out there speaking to the American public, he didn’t talk about a path to legal status. He talk about reforming the legal immigration system so it’s merit-based. That means fewer low-skilled workers, fewer people coming on family ties, more people coming on high-skilled visas. That is still closer to a Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon framework of the world than Gang of Eight, who pushed comprehensive immigration reform.

JOHN KING (HOST): Interesting twist, although it does make you wonder, so we’re not supposed to believe what the senior-most official at the lunch says, who then they allowed it to be the president’s name says, we’re not supposed to believe what they say, maybe we shouldn’t believe what they say.

Making this story a little strange is that Buzzfeed reports that Trump himself went on the record as a “senior administration official”. But to make sure this story had an extra layer of meta, Buzzfeed cited an anonymous source claiming Trump was an anonymous source:

In a private meeting with national news anchors ahead of his address to Congress Tuesday night, Trump went on background with reporters as a “senior administration official” to discuss issues like immigration, telling attendees that it was time for a legislative compromise from both parties.

“There’s got to be a coming together,” an “official” said, according to CNN. As BuzzFeed News reported, citing attendees at the meeting, Trump was the one to make that remark, among others attributed to the official.

Reporters were allowed to put some of Trump’s comments back on the record at 6 p.m., according to a person familiar with the terms of the meeting. CNN later updated its story, for instance, with a quote from Trump. “The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” he said.

Trump’s relationship with the political press corps is a contentious one, but not undeservedly. If what CNN and Buzzfeed said is true, then they should have the sense to see they were test ballooned and not maliciously misled.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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What the President says and what CNN hears then wishcasts are two very different things.

We knew this.

CNN: too little, too late.

It’s over. You are irrelevant.

Later, CNN claimed they’d been victim of a misinformation campaign

Poor VFN, how are they gonna report fake news, if they don’t have the truth to reshape into a story that fits their narrative?

CNN has never said a word about being misinformed by Ben Rhodes about the Iran deal and the secret side agreements. It’s hypocritical to complain now.

Perhaps CNN assumes they were deliberately misled because they deliberately mislead as a standard practice. They think it is normal to do so.

I love to hear them whine.

Rather than a trial balloon, I’d say more likely a two fold strategy: 1 Pres Trump played the press to get them to hype his speech and increase viewership, and 2 It was an entreaty to democrats to get them to negotiating table by inviting them to come to table and ask Pres Trump to make this compromise, but Pres Trump is in better negotiating position if he gets democrats to ask for this rather than Pres Trump offering it. Better for democrats to make the first move/offer.

It looks to me as though CNN got caught leaking what they thought was “news” from an off-the-record meeting and are now trying to back pedal and blame it on Trump. Does anyone really believe that the POTUS is going to “go on the record” as an anonymous “senior administration official”? Really? That is simply stupid. When the POTUS says something his identity is always clear. who is going to fire him for “leaking” info, himself?

To make it worse, they “interpreted” what was said to the advantage of their particular agenda and now have no way to support their statement that “President Donald Trump wants to pass an immigration reform bill that could grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the US”. In other words, they set themselves up to be unable to defend themselves from a “fake news” charge.

It is tough to be a political activist in this country. And it is even tougher if you are stupid.

Out of curiosity, how many people compromise BEFORE they begin negotiations? The President has stated his beginning position and it is now on Congress to agree or counter.

It’s almost as if people at CNN have never negotiated anything before. Surely they’ve negotiated their own contracts.


They actually think governments are supposed to just dictate things. Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Obama. These guys told them how things were going to be in order to keep their access.

“Negotiations” has a different meaning to them when it comes to access.