Republicans Criticize CNN Over Message Suggesting Anchor Intervened in Pennsylvania Race

September 11, 2020 Updated: September 11, 2020

Republicans are criticizing CNN after a leaked message appeared to show he tried convincing military veteran Sean Parnell not to challenge Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.).

“The @CNN bias is serious. We all know this. But when @jaketapper, a former Democrat Hill staffer from Pennsylvania, tries to manipulate a Pennsylvania Congressional race while hosting a nightly news show, the cable network MUST take action,” Richard Grenell, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany, who is advising the Republican National Committee on voter outreach, wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

After an anonymously-sourced report was published suggesting Tapper tried convincing Parnell not to run against Lamb, Tapper denied the charge in a direct message to Grenell.

But Fox News then published a leaked direct message from Tapper to Parnell in late 2019 that appears to clash with that denial.

“and best of luck in your race. for the record i wasnt trying to talk you out of running—i was trying to talk you into running in a safer R district! lol,” the message reads.

CNN hasn’t responded to requests for comment on the message.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Pack told The Epoch Times via email that the message showed why Americans don’t trust the media.

“CNN’s Jake Tapper openly meddling in battleground House races is yet another example of why the credibility of the press is in the toilet,” he said.

Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s son, added on Twitter that Tapper “went way harder & spent way more time & energy trying to convince @SeanParnellUSA not to run against democrat Rep. Conor Lamb than he did interviewing Joe Biden” this week.

“That only makes sense if you’re a democrat operative—not a journalist,” he said.

Tapper has not commented on the situation.

Tapper worked as a campaign aide for former Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-Penn.) in 1992. After she won the election, he worked in her office.

Tapper later took a job with the HandGun Control Inc. group, which lobbied for laws against gun ownership.

He worked for ABC News from 2003 until 2012 when he moved to CNN.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber