CNN’s Zeleny falsely claims Trump showed little empathy for Hurricane Harvey victims

While appearing on Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “The Lead,” Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny claimed that President Trump has shown “very little” in terms of empathy or emotion during his visit to Texas after Hurricane Harvey — a statement that is quite easy to debunk.

“So Brianna, at least that clip there in early remarks that he made almost sounds as though he was coming to a small campaign rally of sorts,” Zeleny said. “And that, of course, is not what he is here in Texas for.

“He has had a variety of serious meetings with the governor of Texas. He’ll be arriving here at the state emergency command center behind me within the next several minutes or so. He’s also traveling with the two Republican senators, a few members of his cabinet also on board.

“But Brianna, one thing I am struck by here, seeing all the stories of emotion, all the stories of loss, of devastation still unfolding. We do not know the extent of the damage here. Very little in terms of empathy from this president. Very little in terms of emotion or talking directly to the people of Texas,” he added, apparently oblivious to the crowds that came out to hear Trump in Corpus Christi:

But Zeleny wasn’t finished.

“He’s been talking about the businesses, talking about the response and his crowd. Certainly this is a test, a new moment for this president. How he’ll ultimately be judged, Brianna, as every president is in a disaster like this, is not on today, it’s on the response and the recovery and how Texas rebuilds if they get federal funds, et cetera, months, on today, it’s on the response and the recovery and how Texas rebuilds if they get federal funds, et cetera, months, perhaps even years, from now,” he opined.

Here’s video of Zeleny’s comments, courtesy of Newsbusters

Newsbusters’ P.J. Gladnick responded:

Since when did CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny become an amateur psychologist who can somehow determine the mental attitude of someone from a distance? Tuesday afternoon, Zeleny did his best to win CNN fake news accolades from his bosses by claiming that President Trump somehow displayed very little empathy for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Gladnick added:

Very unprofessional, Jeff. It is not your job as a reporter to somehow determine what the President’s attitude is. Perhaps Zeleny thought it was just a way to ensure his continued employment at CNN. See,  I can also pretend to determine your attitude from a distance.

Apparently, Zeleny didn’t see this — or if he did, he didn’t care to report it because it doesn’t fit CNN’s template:

Nor did he apparently see this:

Then there’s this, which Zeleny apparently chose to ignore:

“This is historic, this is epic, but you know what? It happened in Texas and Texas can handle anything!” Trump said.

It’s no wonder that CNN is now seen as the least-trusted name in network news, according to the results of a survey released in January by the Washington Free Beacon.

Remember, this is the network that recently said every single person who voted for Trump is a white supremacist “by default.”


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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