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CNN’s Acosta: Trump ‘Sending Out Protesters’ to Pressure Governors to Reopen

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Tuesday on CNN’s “Situation Room,” network White House reporter Jim Acosta accused President Donald Trump of “sending out protesters to the statehouses” to pressure governors to reopen their states.

Earlier at the coronavirus task force press conference, Trump said, “I’ve watched some of the protests, not in great detail but I’ve seen that on television. They’re separated. There is space in between them. They are watching, believe it or not. They’re doing social distancing.”

Gloria Borger said, “I don’t know what pictures he’s looking at, but a lot the video we’ve looked at shows that they’re not doing social distancing. Again, it is this kind of a mixed message. Don’t worry. Don’t pay attention to the guidelines that we have offered you from the administration.”

Acosta said, “I think it does have to be said at this point that the president appears to be giving the green light to these protesters who were at these demonstrations outside statehouses around the country. The president was absolutely just gaslighting people there in the briefing room just a few moments ago, Wolf, when he said these protesters are practicing social distancing. They’re just not.”

He continued, “The president, you know, said a week ago when they released the new guidelines that if saw any governor who was doing something he disagreed with that he would come down hard on that governor. That is not happening with these governors who are racing ahead of this administration’s guidelines opening up quickly like Governor Kemp is in Georgia. So it appears that when the president is going to sound off on these governors, it’s when they’re not opening up quickly enough.”

He added, “And, you know, just to add to that when the president is sending out protesters to the statehouses to demonstrate against social distancing that is putting pressure on the statehouses, that is putting pressure on those governments to reopen. He’s sort of attacking this from a couple of different vantage points, putting pressure on the governors and really giving the green light to his own supporters to demonstrate against these statehouses where they are not opening up quickly enough.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN