CNN’s Jake Tapper encouraged Republican House candidate Sean Parnell, a former U.S. Army Ranger Captain, to avoid facing off with Pennsylvania’s 17th District’s current Democratic Representative Conor Lamb by running in a different district, and then lied about his communications with Lamb.
Screenshots obtained by Fox News and published on Thursday confirmed Tapper’s overreach.
— Blocked by Netflix Poso (@JackPosobiec) September 10, 2020
According to Breitbart News, the allegation surfaced after a “source familiar with Tapper’s activities” claim that Tapper reached out to Parnell about his election multiple times “including in text messages, Twitter direct messages, and in a phone call” asking him not to challenge Lamb.
“Jake knows exactly what he is doing here. This is a swing district in a swing state — Jake knows that Sean can bring out voters that might otherwise stay home but if they come out, they’re voting for Trump. Those votes could deliver the state and the election to Trump. This is nothing short of a CNN anchor interfering in a national election,” the source said.
A “national GOP staffer working on several congressional campaigns across the country” pointed out that Tapper has a history in political activism long before his time in the media. Not only has he worked on, aided, and staff Democratic campaigns and candidates, but he also spent time working for a gun control group called Handgun Control, Inc., renamed to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“By attempting to bully a star Republican recruit out of his race, which would in effect help Democrat Conor Lamb and bolster Pelosi’s chances of keeping the House, Jake has officially given up on journalism in exchange for Democrat activism. If CNN actually cares about ethical journalism, Tapper will face consequences from them,” they said.
According to former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, Tapper denied the claims. Grenell, who campaigned for Parnell, indicated earlier on Sunday that he would be asking for clarification on the issue.
I just asked @jaketapper “Is it true you asked Sean Parnell to not run against Conor Lamb?”
He told me “nope”.
So there is his answer. https://t.co/Nh8LdVKmrD
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 6, 2020
When news broke on Thursday, Grenell posted screenshots of Tapper lying to him about the incident.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 10, 2020
Some called Tapper on his bluff on Sunday after he lied to Grenell.
I can confirm, notwithstanding his denial, that Jake Tapper directly urged Parnell not to run against Rep. Conor Lamb, a vulnerable left-wing Democrat in a swing congressional district in Pennsylvania. https://t.co/CiJebG5B7t
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 7, 2020
The 17th district in Pennsylvania is heavily contested because it is one of the 30 similar districts that voted for Trump in 2016, then flipped to blue during the 2018 midterm elections. According to Breitbart, Democrats are scrambling because “Republicans need to flip just a net 17 seats” to regain control of the House.
Lamb, who endorsed Biden for president in January, has only held the congressional seat since Jan. 2019 but boasts of beating other GOP candidates.
I beat the last two guys President Trump put up against me.
Now he's all in & giving his new guy even more help & more money than the last two.
— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) September 4, 2020
President Trump enthusiastically endorsed Parnell in May and invited him to speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention, urging Democrats to abandon radical and progressive policies for Trump.
“If you’re a traditional Democrat, who’s become disillusioned with how radical your party has become then stand with us. You are most welcome. America needs all her patriots to rush to her defense,” Parnell said.
“This is not the time to stand on the sidelines,” he added.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2020