Jake Tapper Cuts off Stephen Miller on CNN

"It was a very testy interview", Kurtz admitted before reading President's Trump's tweeted response to Tapper, and adding that Trump was obviously watching.

"There's one viewer you care about right now", Tapper said, referring to Trump.

CNN's Jake Tapper cut short his interview with Donald Trump's senior policy advisor Stephen Miller on Sunday after Miller refused the answer questions and repeatedly called Tapper "hysterical".

Miller spent minutes denying the claim, raised in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury", that Trump himself met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton - then Miller admitted that he as "no knowledge of anything to do with that meeting".

The interview began courteously enough with Tapper wishing Miller a 'happy new year'. "Is it really the position of the Trump White House that Steve Bannon had nothing to do with the presidency", Tapper asked, "or can you acknowledge the reality that he was a key player?"

Miller downplayed Bannon's role in Trump's campaign and at the White House during the early months of the administration as "greatly exaggerated".

Bannon, Tapper reminded Miller, had criticized the Trump Tower meeting between Russians and campaign staff, saying, 'The chance that Don Jr. didn't walk these Jumos up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero'.

It may have been a a satisfying climax to anyone in tune with reality, but the one viewer that mattered immediately gave Miller a glowing review for his performance.

Mr. Miller denounced the book as "very poorly written fiction" and "garbage".

Bannon issued a statement to news site Axios reaffirming his "unwavering" support for the president, and praising Trump's eldest son.

In a much more measured interview on Fox News Sunday, Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called the book "a complete fabrication".

"Stephen, I'm trying to get to the issue of the president's fitness, which a lot of people are questioning", Mr. Tapper said.

The very public apology was just the latest fallout from the release of "Fire and Fury", in which Wolff claims, after having had access to the West Wing during the first months of the Trump administration, that numerous president's top aides and confidants consider him paranoid, inept and even unfit to hold office. "I've wasted enough of my viewers' time". He urged his followers to "watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!"

Miller also argued that the president's Saturday tweets, in which he boasted about his "mental stability" and IQ, were helpful in arguing the point that he had the fortitude to do the job.

"Don't be condescending, Jake", Miller shot back.

White House officials said their records showed that Mr. Wolff had last talked to the president in February, but Mr. Wolff said he had talked to the president several times after that.


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