The Trump campaign is pushing back on CNN after one of their analysts, Joe Lockhart, peddled a conspiracy that President Trump suffered from a stroke.
Taking to Twitter, Lockhart tweeted: “Did Donald Trump have a stroke which he is hiding from the American public?”
Did @realDonaldTrump have a stroke which he is hiding from the American public?
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) August 31, 2020
The Trump campaign quickly called for CNN to fire Lockhart.
“CNN should fire Joe Lockhart, a lifetime failure who thought it was a great idea for fellow loser Michael Dukakis to put on that stupid helmet, for knowingly pushing a conspiracy theory about President Trump’s health. Great political expert that he is, Lockhart single-handedly sank the John Kerry campaign, and now he’s doing the same to Joe Biden from a distance,” the campaign said, as the Independent Journal Review reports.
The campaign also challenged the legitimacy of the question and said if Lockhart asked the same question about former President Barack Obama then he would have been fired.
“If another CNN employee said similar things about Barack Obama, they’d be fired immediately, so the same standard should be applied here. That is, of course, unless CNN is complicit in the smear campaign in order to level the playing field against Joe Biden, somebody who truly has lost a step,” the campaign continued.
INBOX: Trump campaign statement on Joe Lockhart pic.twitter.com/hsIZV7MR5s
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) September 1, 2020
The accusation has massive implications and Lockhart’s network even reported that Vice President Mike Pence was called upon to be ready to take up the oath of office, should Trump be unable to continue in his capacities.
CNN (falsely) reported:
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Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby to temporarily assume the powers of the presidency during President Donald Trump’s unannounced visit to Walter Reed hospital in November 2019, according to a copy of New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s forthcoming book obtained by CNN.
Trump had undergone a “quick exam and labs” as part of his annual physical out of anticipation of a “very busy 2020,” the White House had said of the trip at the time.
Schmidt writes, however, that he learned “in the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” Schmidt does not specify the sourcing for this reporting beyond “I learned.”
Trump and Pence later disputed the report.
Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes. This is just more Fake News by @CNN, a phony story. The reason for the visit to Walter Reed, together with the full press pool, was to complete my yearly physical. Short visit, then returned (with press) to W.H… https://t.co/GUVdbJRvqD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 2, 2020