CNN’s chief national correspondent John King on Friday ripped Donald Trump‘s campaign for its handling of an event during which the GOP presidential nominee promised a “major announcement.”
Trump had said he would deliver a statement Friday in Washington about whether he believes President Obama was born in the U.S. Trump began the event talking for several minutes about his new hotel, then had veterans speak on his behalf for nearly a half-hour, before finally delivering a four-sentence statement and leaving without taking questions.
“We got played, again, by the Trump campaign, which is what they do,” King said on CNN moments after Trump wrapped up his event. “He got a live event broadcast for some 20 minutes.”
King said he meant no disrespect for the military veterans honored at the Trump event and said voters would make their decision about how Trump framed his event.
His remarks echoed those of other journalists on social media, who blasted Trump for waiting until the end of a high-profile event to deliver a short statement.
CNN’s Jake Tapper said that the public got “rickrolled” by Trump — a reference to a 2000s meme that tricked people into clicking on a link to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video — while the network’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger called Trump’s move a “breathtaking act of political expediency.”
“It is insulting what he just did,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said of Trump on CNN.
“And he has done it time and time and time again, which tries to divide us as a nation,” Meeks continued. “It’s like he thinks that it’s a game, you’re playing a TV show.”