A top White House official is accusing CNN host Jake Tapper of being sexist during a heated interview with presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway.
Tapper called out the White House on Tuesday for accusing the media of underreporting terror attacks, and pressed Conway on President Donald Trump’s attempts to delegitimize the media by calling it “fake news.”
“Are we fake news, Kellyanne?” he asked her. “Is CNN fake news?”
“No, I don’t think CNN is fake news,” Conway responded.
The interview ― which was widely praised by those who want the media to take a more aggressive approach to fighting the falsehoods coming out of the White House ― followed Conway repeatedly citing the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” as a defense of Trump’s travel ban targeting Muslims.
But Sebastian Gorka, who serves as the deputy assistant to the president, said he believes there was something more nefarious at play.
“The tone was very disappointing,” Gorka told The Hill in an article published Sunday. “It was trying to treat a woman as a punching bag, really. It was clear.”
Gorka said he hadn’t been given the same treatment when Tapper interviewed him a few days prior.
“Why her?” he asked. “Why Kellyanne? Why be so aggressive with her and not with me? Hard to answer.”
CNN dismissed what it called “false claims” in a statement on Sunday.
“If Gorka or anyone else from the administration had been on The Lead that day they would have received the same interview,” a CNN spokesperson told the Hill. “It’s disappointing to see any administration retreat into false claims of addressing the issues at hand.”