Reporting from South Dakota ahead of President Trump’s Independence Day speech Friday, CNN reporter Leyla Santiago referred to Mount Rushmore merely as a “monument of two slave owners” on land “wrestled away from Native Americans.”
The two slave owners Santiago referred to are otherwise known as former President George Washington and former President Thomas Jefferson.
“Kicking off the Independence Day Weekend, President Trump will be at Mount Rushmore, where he’ll be standing in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans told that uh, be focusing on the effort to ‘tear down our country’s history,'” Santiago told CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
Tapper, despite appearing to be a bit taken aback by the remarks, made no effort to improve on them.
Instead, after a brief pause, he simply said: “All right. Leyla Santiago, with that report, thank you so much.”
At the same time, the chyron running across the screen stated: “Reexamining ‘Independence’ Day” with “independence” in scare quotes.
As the Daily Wire notes, there is no reason for the quotes around the word “independence.” After all, the official name of the holiday celebrated on the fourth day of July is in fact Independence Day, per 5 USC Section 6103.
The scathing report and unusual chyron from Friday stand in contrast to past reporting that CNN has done on Mount Rushmore, as some on social media were quick to point out.
Trump campaign Deputy Director of Communications Zach Parkinson posted a clip from 2016, which showed then-presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) visiting the monument.
“In 2016, CNN’s Jeff Zeleny called Mount Rushmore a ‘monument to four great American Presidents’ … Bernie Sanders said ‘this is our country at its very best,’ called it an ‘incredible achievement,’ and said it ‘really does make one very proud to be an American,'” Parkinson wrote in a tweet.
GOP Rapid Response Coordinator Steve Guest retweeted the clip, adding, “this is what media bias looks like.”
(H/T: The Daily Wire)