CNN's Tapper Compares Trump to Gangsters After Press Conference on Midterms

November 7, 2018

CNN anchor Jake Tapper compared President Donald Trump to mafia bosses Wednesday, saying his leadership is reminiscent of films such as The Godfather.

Tapper was discussing Trump’s press conference after the midterm elections in which Republicans lost control of the House but gained seats in the Senate. Trump downplayed the problem and blamed Republicans in the House who did not embrace him in their campaigns and subsequently lost.

Tapper said Trump "started out by doing a dance on the graves of Republicans who did not show him enough fealty."

"He danced on their graves. He said because they didn't embrace him they lost, and he was flip about it," Tapper said. "I've never seen a president take delight in people of his own party losing. And the only thing I can compare that to is some of the works of Francis Ford Coppola or Martin Scorsese."

Coppola directed The Godfather films, which won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director and established his legacy as a Hollywood legend. Scorsese directed another classic mob movie, Goodfellas, and won Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for The Departed.

"That's how gangsters act—the idea you're not loyal to them and, therefore, you deserve the punishment," Tapper added.

To Tapper, Trump’s behavior is the opposite of past presidents.

"There are plenty of presidents we've seen, whether Bill Clinton or George W. Bush or Barack Obama, who lose elections, who lose members of Congress in these wave elections whether it's '94 or 2006 or 2010, and there are members of Congress who didn't want them to campaign with them because it would be bad for their re-election, and they understand that," Tapper said.

"Trump did that in addition to all the lies and falsehoods he shared in that press conference and the denial of the fact that he had a—at best—mixed election night and the Democrats taking over the house is a huge problem for him," Tapper said.

Trump's press conference also included multiple spats with reporters, including Tapper's CNN colleague Jim Acosta. Trump angrily called him a "rude, terrible person" after Acosta sought to ask an extra question about Russia and sparred with the president over his rhetoric about the migrant caravan in Mexico.