Not even the combined forces of CNN and the DNC could stop the Trump Train, it seems. CNN secretly approached the Democratic National Committee for input on questions to ask Donald Trump in a planned interview with Wolf Blitzer, WikiLeaks revealed in a batch of emails released late Sunday.
The collaboration also included CNN reporter Jake Tapper, indicating it was an ongoing effort to promote Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. This seemed to be the case in her run against Bernie Sanders, and it went into high gear when Donald Trump became the nominee. The emails show the DNC also submitted questions to CNN when Blitzer interviewed Ted Cruz, before he dropped out of the race.
The move was an obvious attempt to craft “ambush” questions to stump or embarrass GOP politicians and Donald Trump in particular. Their efforts, however, failed.
When Blitzer did interview Trump, armed with DNC questions, he failed to make him stumble. Trump, in fact, brilliantly turned one of Blitzer’s questions totally against him, by correctly pointing out that Hillary Clinton, not he, started the “birther” question in 2008.
The Daily Mail provides the details of how the DNC provided input, at CNN’s request.
An email dated April 28 entitled ‘Cruz on CNN’ reads ‘CNN is looking for questions. Please send some topical/interesting ones.’
That email was sent from DNC research director Lauren Dillon to other officials and staffers.
Days before that, on April 25 she asked for questions from officials and staffers for an interview that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer would be conducting with Trump.
‘Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues (sic) ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed,’ Dillon wrote in the email that was entitled ‘CNN questions for Trump.’
Numerous questions were submitted by a group of DNC staffers and officials for 68-year-old Blitzer to ask the billionaire.
However, in a follow-up email, she informed the group of staffers that the Trump interview ended up being cancelled.
‘CNN said the interview was cancelled as of now but will keep the questions for the next one Good to have for others as well,’ Dillon wrote in the email.
DNC deputy communications director Christina Freundlich responded to Dillion’s email with ‘Boo’, seemingly showing that she was disappointed.
Blitzer, who has been working at CNN since 1990, did end up interviewing the real estate mogul on May 4.
It should be noted, that even though Wolf Blitzer had the entire Democratic National Committee helping him, he could not trip up Trump in his interview. In this clip, Blitzer hits Trump hard on several issues, and Trump comes back swinging on each one. His best moment comes when Blitzer tried to pin him down on the Obama “birther” scandal. Trump’s ability to turn the question around and blame Hillary actually became a talking point for several weeks during the summer.
Here’s the clip: