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CNN Anchor Slams Trump Spokesman for 'Lying', Cuts Off Interview After Bizarre Hydroxychloroquine Rant

CNN Anchor Slams Trump Spokesman for 'Lying', Cuts Off Interview After Bizarre Hydroxychloroquine Rant

Days after confounding MSNBC anchor Katy Tur with his distortion of facts, the communications director for President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign—Tim Murtaugh—is once again frustrating journalists with his portrayal of Trump's handling of the virus.

Murtaugh appeared in a segment with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar, who didn't mince words when it came to correcting him.

Watch below.

One point of contention came with the assertion that former President Barack Obama left the Trump administration without ventilators in the national medical equipment stockpile.

Murtaugh claimed that Obama was responsible for the ventilator shortage in the early stages of the outbreak.

Keilar corrected him:

"Obama left 19 thousand ventilators in a plan, so you're lying. And you're talking like it's 2017. It is 2020, sir. It is 2020. It has been almost four years."

When Murtaugh tried to take refuge in oft-repeated talking points about the strength of Trump's testing program, Keilar said:

"What testing program? That the President has instituted. It's not a federal program, Tim. He left it up to the states."

But the major point of contention came in a discussion about hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug the Trump administration fixated on as a potential cure for the virus. The evidence of hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment for the virus is slim at best, and the drug often results in life-threatening side effects.

Nevertheless, Murtaugh claimed:

"The entirety of the media was dead set against anyone ever talking about [hydroxychloroquine] simply because the President expressed optimism in its role as a treatment."

Keilar rebutted:

"That's not why. It's because it kills people, Tim."

Keilar pointed out that hydroxychloroquine studies have been shut down because of the grim side effects compared to the overall ineffectiveness of treating the virus.

Murtaugh said that CNN "practically accused the President of murder" because he encouraged doctors to prescribe the drug. He then said that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the virus task force had endorsed the drug.

He went on to correctly say that it had been used for malaria for decades, but Keilar pointed out that the drug is given to healthy people in order to prevent malaria. It's not given to those on their death bed from the virus.

After Murtaugh continued praising hyrdroxychloroquine, Keilar cut the interview short, saying:

"Tim, we are done with this conversation. I think that you're just really confusing the situation and it does no service to anyone's health, especially."

Keilar echoed the sentiment in a Twitter thread.

Others were just as exasperated at Murtaugh as Keilar was.

They commended her for holding Murtaugh's feet to the fire.

Today, the President gave his first press briefing as part of the virus task force in months.