The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) on Sunday night raised concerns that CNN anchor Jake Tapper may be “meddling” in House races beyond the 17th congressional district in Pennsylvania.
Responding to a report from Breitbart News on how Jake Tapper attempted to convince rising GOP star candidate Sean Parnell to run in a district other than the 17th, the NRCC raised questions about Tapper’s actions in this case and wondered if he has engaged in activity like this in other districts with other candidates as well.

So how many other districts has @jaketapper pulled this crap with? Why is CNN meddling in House swing races? This is absurd. #PA17
— NRCC (@NRCC) September 7, 2020
The NRCC’s tweet, which includes a link to the Breitbart News story on the matter, accuses CNN and Tapper of “meddling in House swing races.”
The original Breitbart News report quoted sources familiar with Tapper’s actions, in which he — through text messages, direct messages on Twitter to Parnell’s account, and phone calls — tried to steer Parnell towards running in less of a swing district and more a Republican-leaning district. The original cites a number of sources familiar with the matter. Since the publication of the original article, Breitbart News has additionally confirmed Tapper’s activities with at least eight more individuals aware of his behavior in Pennsylvania politics.
The reason why what Tapper did is significant: If Parnell ran somewhere other than the 17th district, it is unlikely that Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) would face a serious challenge in November’s congressional election. But since Parnell rebuked Tapper’s political advice, and instead chose to run against Lamb, the vulnerable Democrat is facing potential defeat in November.
What’s more, this district is one of 30 such House districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016 that are currently represented by Democrats. If the GOP flips just a net 17 seats from Democrat control back into Republican hands, they win back the majority and retire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once and for all. In addition to these 30 Trump-won Democrat-controlled districts, Republicans say they are confident in another dozen or so seats where they have better chances than the conditions in southern California where now-Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) won a special election this year to replace the disgraced former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), who resigned amid a sex scandal with staffers in her office.
This district could also make the difference between whether Trump or Democrat presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden wins the all-important state of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. Now that it has a competitive congressional race, it could help drive support to Trump by turning out the GOP vote in the hard-fought down-ticket race.
Tapper has not responded to a Breitbart News request for comment on this matter, nor has CNN official Matt Dornic — the person who handles corporate communications for the network. But Tapper has, according to former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, denied the substance of the story.

. @jaketapper messaged me and said he didn’t ask @SeanParnellUSA to NOT run against @ConorLambPA.
Jake is denying it. @cnn
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 7, 2020

I’ve just finished a campaign rally for @SeanParnellUSA. @jaketapper is denying this story.
Anonymous sources should speak on the record. This is a question of Trust in the Media and @cnn’s credibility to be unbiased.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 7, 2020

I just asked @jaketapper “Is it true you asked Sean Parnell to not run against Conor Lamb?”
He told me “nope”.
So there is his answer.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 6, 2020

I will be campaigning with @SeanParnellUSA in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania in just a few hours. I will be asking if this is true.
If true, @cnn must deal with @jaketapper very firmly.
Political activism from the media is unacceptable!
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 6, 2020
Parnell’s campaign also declined to comment on the original story. But many others on the right, top conservatives and supporters of President Trump, raised concerns about Tapper’s conduct on this matter before and after Tapper’s denial through Grenell.

– CNN anchor Jake Tapper tried to convince Republican Sean Parnell to run in a different congressional district than in Pennsylvania’s 17th, where he is currently challenging Democrat Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA).
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) September 6, 2020

These do not sound like the actions of a disinterested observer reporting on political events. The messages between Tapper & Parnell must be released.
Fake @JakeTapper Pushed GOP’s Sean Parnell to Run in Different District than Democrat Conor Lamb
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 6, 2020

Jake Tapper personally intervened in a tight congressional race and told @SeanParnellUSA not to challenge a vulnerable Democrat. Instead, Tapper urged Parnell to primary a Republican in a safe GOP district and leave Tapper’s Democrat friend alone.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 6, 2020

Jake Tapper did what?
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) September 6, 2020

Holy crap
BRAKING: Jake Tapper Pushed Sean Parnell to Run in Different District than Democrat Conor Lamb
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 6, 2020

Wait, if @JakeTapper really tried to get @SeanParnellUSA to not run against Conor Lamb, wouldn’t that by definition be election interference from a @CNN journalist? @CNNPR Ethics are arbitrary these days but still… 🏻‍♀️
— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) September 6, 2020

Did @jaketapper really do this @SeanParnellUSA??
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) September 6, 2020

Jake Tapper Pushed GOP’s Sean Parnell to Run in Different District than Democrat Conor Lamb
ὄὄ via @BreitbartNews
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 6, 2020

This sounds like election interference.
Jake Tapper Pushed GOP’s Sean Parnell to Run in Different District than Democrat Conor Lamb
— Kambree (@KamVTV) September 6, 2020
And, again, while Jake Tapper and CNN have not publicly commented, but denied it in a message to Grenell, Breitbart News stands by its story.

We stand by our reporting.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 6, 2020
The Federalist’s Sean Davis also confirmed Breitbart News’s original report late Sunday night, suggesting more will come out about this on Monday:

I can confirm, notwithstanding his denial, that Jake Tapper directly urged Parnell not to run against Rep. Conor Lamb, a vulnerable left-wing Democrat in a swing congressional district in Pennsylvania.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 7, 2020
What’s more, several sources familiar with Tapper’s activities on Sunday after the story broke confirm that Tapper spent much of the evening calling and texting people frantically trying to rally anyone he could to his side — and asking anyone he could for advice on what to do.
“For someone who likes telling people that he doesn’t take Breitbart seriously, it was enjoyable to see him spend his entire evening taking Breitbart pretty seriously,” a Trump ally who speaks with Tapper on a regular basis told Breitbart News.

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