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By Onan Coca
Jake Tapper has once again proven that he’s the best thing going at CNN (not that he has a lot of competition).
On Sunday’s episode of State of the Union, Tapper welcomed Broward County Sheriff Steve Israel to discuss the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida.
What ensued may be the greatest television interview in the history of interviews. Tapper proceeded to dress down Broward’s top cop for the many, many failures of his department over the last decade or so. He particularly pointed to the Sheriff’s deputies who stood outside the school as the massacre unfolded, he also mentioned the many times that police were called to attend to the violent and unstable Cruz, and finally he mocked the sheriff for arguing that he had shown “amazing leadership.”
Jake Tapper: Are you really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the Broward sheriff’s office about this shooter before this incident, whether it was people near him, close to him calling the police–
Sheriff Israel: Jake, Jake — Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency–
Jake Tapper: ‘Amazing leadership?’
Sheriff Israel: Yes, Jake. There’s a lot of things we’ve done throughout this — this is — you don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in to — these deputies received the training they needed.
Jake Tapper: Maybe you measure somebody’s leadership by whether or not they protect the community. You’ve listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter and still, nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure that the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him — I don’t understand how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership?
Eventually, Tapper even chastises the sheriff for blaming the NRA when it’s become obvious that his department shoulders more of the blame for this tragedy, than the 2nd Amendment lobby.
There are at least 4 or 5 really great moments in this interview, but my favorite may be when Tapper realizes that Israel used his recent CNN Townhall to lie to America.
Around the nine minute mark, Tapper asks him about the town hall. Did he know all of these things then? Israel dances around the subject uncomfortably and tries to deflect, but Jake keeps coming back at him over and over. Israel never does get around to giving a definitive answer.
From there, if you don’t want to watch the whole interview, feel free to fast forward to right around the 19:45 mark where Tapper really unloads on the Sheriff for his performance…
Do yourself a favor and watch the entire interview. It really is a sight to behold!
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