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‘Why is CNN meddling in swing races?’ Republicans roast Jake Tapper for trying to ‘influence’ congressional election

‘Why is CNN meddling in swing races?’ Republicans roast Jake Tapper for trying to ‘influence’ congressional election
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has accused CNN of “meddling in swing races” due to a report that anchor Jake Tapper tried convincing Sean Parnell to avoid running in a district where he could flip a seat.

“So how many other districts has @jaketapper pulled this crap with? Why is CNN meddling in House swing races? This is absurd,” the NRCC tweeted.

The message was in response to a Breitbart report claiming Tapper had tried on multiple occasions to convince congressional candidate and conservative author/veteran Sean Parnell to give up running in Pennsylvania’s 17th district and instead run in a more traditionally Republican area in the state. 

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report claimed Tapper tried convincing Parnell to switch his plans through text messages, direct messages on social media, and phone calls, but Parnell did not listen.

The report not only indicates that a member of the media who claims to not be motivated by personal politics is trying to directly influence elections, but also that there is an awareness of the importance of certain congressional races in regards to which party will next hold the majority in Congress.

Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pennsylvania), Parnell’s rival, is not facing any serious competition besides the conservative pundit, so it’s likely he could carry his district without the challenge in November. What’s important about the specific district is that it is one of 30 House districts Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election that is now represented by a Democrat. By flipping those districts to the Republican side again, people like Parnell are hoping to help the party win majority control in Congress, taking power away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), currently one of the president’s most stringent opponents. 

Richard Grenell, the acting director of United States National Intelligence, has tweeted that he’s been in contact with Tapper and says the anchor and author denies trying to influence Parnell. Grenell also called on Breitbart News to reveal the sources for their story.

The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis pushed back against the denial and claimed he also knew Tapper had tried meddling in the election.

Critics have used the allegations against Tapper to highlight the CNN anchor’s liberal political bias, as well as that of his network. 

Others have pushed back against the criticism to pull attention to the close relationships President Trump keeps with some in the media, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, who campaigned for Trump. Though, if the Tapper allegations are true, his activism would have been much less in the open than that of Hannity. 

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