CNN Host Jake Tapper Praises Trump's Legitimate Achievements—and His Inadvertent Ones

CNN host Jake Tapper offered some praise to Donald Trump in the waning days of his White House tenure, but said the president's vaccine and trade achievements are far outweighed by his other actions while in office.

During Sunday's State of the Union show, Tapper highlighted Trump's efforts in pushing companies to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in record time amid the pandemic. The CNN host also touted Trump's promotion of Middle East peace deals and emphasis on U.S. military troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. But Tapper said Trump's rethinking of trade deals and other accomplishments are far outweighed by his "clownish" efforts to undermine the 2020 election results and attacks on the press.

Tapper said Trump's unintended achievements in office, like "exposing" which congressional Republicans supported his "desperate desire to subvert the will of the American people," will stand out far more boldly in the pages of U.S. history.

"President Trump did us a favor by exposing these elected officials" who supported his assault on democracy, @jaketapper says.

"For those of us who believe in standards and norms and the US Constitution, we need to thank President Trump." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/VargCulNhN

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 13, 2020

"Outgoing President Trump deserves our thanks for approving Operation Warp Speed, which helped to bring us the COVID vaccine," Tapper said at the close of the show.

"He has rethought trade deals. He has reimagined peace in the Middle East. He has pushed foreign policy consensus to put more of a priority on bringing U.S. service members home, even if his follow-through has been rather wanting. These are legitimate achievements," Tapper said.

"There are other ways outgoing President Trump perhaps inadvertently has done us a service," Tapper continued. "The relationship between the news media and the U.S. government should not be anywhere near as antagonistic as it's been under President Trump, but it should be adversarial. Maybe Trump has been right to not attend the dinners where politicians and reporters cozy up to each other. Maybe he exposed as unseemly something that should not return to normal."

Tapper said Trump has also laid bare that many formerly rudimentary Washington processes were "upheld upon [an] honor system" that clearly does not work.

"A government upheld upon the honor system only works if everyone involved has honor. This seems something that legislators should reexamine," the longtime journalist continued.

But Tapper said the president unwittingly exposed 18 state attorneys general, a majority of House Republicans and a few U.S. senators for supporting a legal brief "based on conspiracy theories," referring to the election lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton directly to the Supreme Court.

"President Trump did us a favor by exposing these elected officials. They are definitionally people who signed on to a desperate desire to subvert the will of the American people, to disenfranchise voters in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan based on lies and conspiracy theories, putting an immoral and corrupt power grab above democracy," Tapper said.

Tapper noted that "President Trump made House Republicans go on the record" last week as 126 House GOP members, including House Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise, signed their name to Trump's undermining efforts.

"They actually signed their names to this, this unconservative, un-Democratic, un-American mendacious joke of a lawsuit that would disenfranchise millions of their fellow Americans," he concluded.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and the National Republican Congressional Committee for additional remarks Sunday afternoon.

A Fox News poll released Friday found 42 percent of Americans saying they believe Trump will go down in history as one of the worst presidents of all time. He currently holds a 52 percent disapproval rating just weeks before Biden's Inauguration Day.

jake tapper cnn trump achievements
CNN host Jake Tapper offered some praise to President Donald Trump in the waning days of his White House tenure, but said his vaccine and trade achievements are far outweighed by his other actions while in office. Screenshot: CNN State of the Union | YouTube