Jake Tapper came under fire on Sunday night after the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised concerns about the CNN anchor getting involved in ongoing congressional races, according to Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News.
Breitbart first raised the issue of Tapper trying to steer races when it came to Pennsylvania’s 17th district. The publication said he had tried to convince GOP rising star Sean Parnell to run in another district.
He reportedly contacted Parnell, who spoke at last month’s Republican National Convention, through text messages and DMs on Twitter.
Tapper is said to have reached out because if Parnell didn’t run in the Pennsylvania 17th, Democrat Conor Lamb wouldn’t be in such a contested battle. The Republican eventually turned down Tapper’s advice and Lamb is in at least some danger of losing in November.
Boyle pointed out that Lamb’s district is one of 30 that has Democrats currently representing it in Congress. These are also areas that President Donald Trump won in 2016. Both political parties see them as bellwether areas because of the split-party allegiances in recent elections.
The NRCC claimed Tapper had gotten involved in several of those other races. It took issue because as an anchor on CNN, he’s expected to be an impartial observer of how the elections play out and not someone who tries to influence them.
After the NRCC asked on Twitter just how many more districts Tapper was “meddling” in, the newsman received some apparent support from an unlikely source. The tweet can be viewed here.
Ambassador Richard Grenell sent out a series of tweets where he explained that he had talked to Tapper and asked him flat-out whether or not he tried to convince the former Army captain to run in another part of Pennsylvania. You can read his posts here.
Grenell said he was at a campaign rally for the candidate at the center of the controversy and said he would look into getting the truth. The ambassador posted multiple times that he asked Tapper, in a number of different ways, whether the reporter had been involved in changing who was running where.
Grenell said that every time he posed the question, he was told no.
For their part, the campaign Tapper is said to have contacted hasn’t commented on whether or not there were any conversations between the two.
Boyle said that even after the denials were posted by Grenell, there were several high-level conservative voices who weren’t sure they believed the broadcaster didn’t involve himself in any of the elections.