CNN host Jake Tapper cut off a bizarre and fiery interview Sunday with White House adviser Stephen Miller about President Donald Trump's mental acuity, CNN's coverage of the administration and the truthfulness of Michael Wolff's explosive new book.
It was clear from the outset Miller was there to do battle for the president.
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Miller quickly lit into Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House and blasted former White House strategist Steve Bannon, saying his critical comments about the administration in Wolff's book were "grotesque."
"The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction," Miller said, going on to call Wolff a "garbage author."
The book's characterization of Trump as a petulant child, Miller said, was false and vindictive, and he made a point of calling Trump a "political genius."
Miller also blasted CNN's coverage of the book, saying it gave the network "joy to stick the knife in."
When Miller again lavishly praised Trump as a genius and successful businessman, Tapper quipped that "I'm sure he's watching and he's happy you said that."
"You can be as condescending as you want. It's part of your MO," Miller said.
Tapper replied he had no idea why Miller was going hard after CNN, and the two men repeatedly spoke over one another. Miller said CNN did "24 hours of negative anti-Trump hysterical coverage" that led to false reporting.
"I think the viewers right now can ascertain who is being hysterical," Tapper said.
At one point, Tapper told Miller to "settle down."
The host tried to shift the conversation back to Bannon and Trump's recent claim that his role in the campaign and administration had been overstated. Tapper pointed to his influence on various key issues like immigration, but Miller stood firm.
Once Tapper asked Miller about Trump's recent tweets calling himself a "very stable genius," Miller again pivoted to blasting CNN and the "toxic environment" it had created with its hostile coverage.
Tapper seemed to lose patience as Miller blasted the "extremely fake news" put out by CNN.
"Stephen, I get it. There's one viewer that you care about right now, and you're being obsequious … in order to please him," Tapper said. "I think I've wasted enough of my viewers' time."
He went to the next segment, and another terrific Sunday show interview was in the books.
UPDATE, 10:17 A.M.: It went over well with Trump, who tweeted later that morning that Tapper "got destroyed" by his aide.
"Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!" he wrote.
Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018