CNN changes transcript to tone down Trump attacks

President Donald Trump is triggering the 25th Amendment kooks again with a series of tweets and statements highlighting his penchant for bombast.

 The amendment to the Constitution explains the formal procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation. If the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet agree that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the vice president replaces him.

On Wednesday Trump retweeted conservative commentator Wayne Allyn Root’s fawning post claiming that Israeli Jews’ love Trump ‘like he is the second coming of God.’

“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!” it read. Trump thanked him for “the very nice words.”

New York Daily News writers David Goldiner and Chris Sommerfeldt published an article on Wednesday declaring Root’s post a wild messianic spiel, complaining that, “The chronically boastful president went on a narcissistic rant of biblical proportions,” even though he did not write the glowing tribute himself.

That afternoon Trump spoke to the media about his predecessors who refused to confront China over trade disparities, saying, “I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what? We’re winning.”

 He also blasted comments by Denmark’s prime minister after she denigrated his proposal to buy Greenland, calling it absurd and saying it was not for sale.

The media went into overdrive framing the president’s tweets and statements into a familiar narrative, calling the president crazy and sexist.

 He explained that he was not the first president to come up with the idea, noting, “This is something that has been discussed for many years. Harry Truman had the idea of Greenland. I had the idea, other people have had the idea. It goes back into the early 1900s but Harry Truman very strongly thought it was a good idea,” said Trump.

By 5:00 PM Eastern Time the media started going over the edge. CNN’s Brianna Keilar, sitting in for regular host Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Situation Room, came on the air and in somber tones reported the ‘Breaking News’ to the shows foreboding opening soundtrack:

KEILAR: President Trump goes off on an extraordinary rant, at times taking on a messianic tone after retweeting a notorious conspiracy theorist who suggested that he is loved like the second coming of God. The President declared to reporters that he is the Chosen One to take on China over its trade practices…”

First, let’s go to the White House and CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

And, Jim, the president seemed to have anointed himself today.


The president sounded as though he has something of a God complex today, declaring himself the chosen one and accepting praise from an ally who dubbed Trump as the second coming. But the president wasn’t so charitable when he doubled down on how Jewish Americans should vote against Democrats, in his view, and how he described the prime minister of Denmark as nasty for rejecting his advances on Greenland. …His performance today was one part bully, another part pulpit.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Taking his questionable rhetoric to new heights, President Trump talked about himself in biblical terms, at one point looking to the sky as he praised his handling of the economy as godlike.

CNN even drastically changed the official transcript of Keilar’s remarks to downplay her editorializing and inflammatory words in comparison to the video of the show’s opening:

KEILAR: We’re following breaking news on the president’s confusing, offending and self-aggrandizing new rant.

Tonight, he’s flipping and flailing on two crucial issues, the economy and guns. He says he’s not looking at payroll tax cuts, a day after he said he was looking at payroll tax cuts. And he claims that he’s still working to tighten gun background checks, even as he repeats the NRA’s talking points against them,” the transcript read in part.

The 25th Amendment truthers pounced, storming Twitter with hashtags calling for the president’s removal. A battalion of eminent Democratic leaders and operatives circulated on the news networks to shake their collective heads in shock.

These same Democrats have been relatively mute about the party’s frontrunner for the presidential nomination, Joe Biden, who is supported by almost a third of its primary voters, according to recent polls.

Many Democrats seem to like him in spite of his very outlandish gaffes and misstatements. Unlike Trump, the media does not follow him around waiting to blast his ridiculous utterances into bombshell headlines and calls for his admittance to a mental hospital.

This Week Senior Correspondent Damon Linker wrote on Wednesday, “many of those people won’t much care that Biden sometimes sounds a little confused, trips over his words, and embarrasses himself a little. I suspect many of them might actually like it — because it makes him sound a lot more like them than the other, more polished candidates do. In this one respect at least, Biden may well be the Democrats’ best possible answer to Trump. He’s a different kind of average guy than the president, but an average guy all the same — one who doesn’t try to sound like he’s the smartest guy or gal in the room, and who might use words like “guy” and “gal” without feeling the least bit self-conscious.”

 The 78-year-old former vice president claimed in multiple speeches in 2008 that he knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding because his helicopter had been “forced down” nearby in the mountains of Afghanistan, even though it actually landed to wait out a snowstorm, according to the Associated Press.

 He said in a speech in Urbandale, Iowa on Monday, “Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King had been assassinated in the ’70s, the late ’70s when I got engaged …,” even though King was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee in April 1968 and Kennedy was killed in June, two months later.

Last Friday while attending a fundraiser Biden couldn’t remember whether he gave a speech in Burlington, Iowa, or Burlington, Vermont. He also claimed two recent mass shootings took place in Houston and Michigan instead of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. He said he met survivors of the February 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, while he was vice president, even though he left office more than a year earlier.

He regularly confuses former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with Theresa May even though she left office almost two decades ago.

The media’s playbook is so familiar — cover for Democrats, sweep their flaws and missteps under the carpet while setting the attack dogs on the president. The media needs to report about its own messianic tendency to decide what it thinks its audience should know and think. It poses a very grave threat to our democracy.