Jake Tapper Can’t Believe Rep. Steve King’s “Crazy Remarks” on Rape and Incest
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Jake Tapper Can’t Believe Rep. Steve King’s “Crazy Remarks” on Rape and Incest


-You have the coolest
microphone thing. It looks like a tie clasp. -Yeah, isn’t that really —
That’s top-level. -I was thinking like —
That looks pretty sharp. -What do you guys wear?
Is that what you do at CNN? -Yeah, just this.
-It’s like that? -Yours looks cool,
like it’s intended. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -Well, you have
your own show, too. You’ve got to get one of these. -I don’t have as much pull,
I don’t think. -Yeah. Well, the problem is,
you have a show on a network
that has too many hosts. So they’d be like, “You get one,
then Cuomo’s going to want one, Anderson’s going to want one.”
-Exactly. -You can’t do that.
Whereas me, it’s — -It’s not just one tie clip.
-I guarantee you, if I’ve got it,
that means Fallon had it first. [ Laughter ] -It does actually
have his initials. -It does, yeah. -“J.F. — do not touch.”
Oh, no. -You hosted the debates.
-I did. -And that is a lot. Not only was it
back-to-back nights, but 10 candidates both nights. Did you — How do you approach
it with that many people? -Well, first of all,
we should just make sure
everybody understands. If it were up to me, I would
have like five candidates. But it was the Democratic
National Committee. They made the decision.
-Right. Not CNN’s choice. -And they said, “This is
what you have to achieve in order to get on
the debate stage.” And it turns out
it was very achievable. -Yeah.
-So they had 20 candidates. Thank God we were allowed
to split it into two nights. And it’s tough, because all
these competing imperatives. You want to make sure that
you get to the big people, the bigger candidates, but you
also want to include everybody. You want to bring out debate. You want to get to as many
topics as you can, but you don’t want
to be too shallow. I mean,
it’s a lot of moving parts. -It did seem that you guys got credit for hitting on
a lot of substantive issues. Obviously, a limit of time and the fact that 10 people
are talking. And I think when —
We remember the last debate that had that many candidates
was the GOP debates 4 years ago. You did those, as well. -Yea, I did one
with 11 candidates. -11 candidates at once. -Because Carly Fiorina
got in there. -She slid in at the last minute.
-Yeah. -And thank God she did,
because then she was president. But you — Those, I think,
are not remembered as being as substantive, but you would
argue that they were. We just forget because of Trump. -Because of who was
in the middle of the stage. I think we asked a lot
of substantive questions, but I think one of the problems
with a debate anytime that President Trump —
then candidate Trump — is there is, you might not remember
the discussion about the nuclear triad, for
example, which was brought up. And you might remember when
he made fun of Rand Paul’s hair. -Yeah.
-One of them might stick out — stick in your brain
a little bit more. -Yeah. Do you think that will
ultimately be the challenge for whoever ends up against him,
moving forward? Is that — As voters,
we will also be distracted by his ability to make fun of
sort of trivial things? -I don’t know. That’s going to
be the big challenge for whoever
the Democratic nominee is. What’s the way to go after him? Because you could argue that Hillary Clinton won
all three debates. -Yeah, I think pretty —
Like, by a clear margin. -Polls indicated that the
American people thought she did. -Yeah.
-And then, yet, she’s obviously not
at the White House right now. -Yeah, ’cause they were like,
“That other guy is a little crazy, though.
I kind of like that. Let’s see what that looks like
in the White House. Let’s try the crazy guy. It’s only for a week, right?
Four years?!” -It was a little bit more
complicated than that. But okay. We’ll go with that. -I think most voters —
Trust me. I’ve been in the diners.
That’s what they did. I’ve talked to people in diners.
So you — -There were the Russians
and Comey and Wisconsin. -There’s a lot of things.
-A lot of factors. -You’ve had this issue,
because you have to deal with it certainly in a more serious way
than we do. There have been things this week that are hard to lay out
exactly what happened. Steve King,
who is an Iowa Congressman, he basically made comments
defending rape and incest. Which you would think
would be a real career ender, but not as yet. How do you even —
When you hear that, how do you even go about
presenting that to people as “here’s a real thing
that happened”? -Well, I mean,
we just ran the clip. And just for those of you
who are not familiar With Congressman King’s
oeuvre… -Yeah. -He says a lot of just really
insane and offensive things. -Yeah, the craziest thing is it wasn’t out of left field
for him. -Yeah. The good news was,
it wasn’t racist. -Yeah, that’s right.
He tried a new thing. That’s like,
be careful what you wish for. It’s like — Good news.
He’s not racist anymore. -Well, it wasn’t that —
Just in those comments he was, “I’m going to try
a little misogyny. Let’s just see how that goes.
Try it on for size.” Yeah, the basic argument
he was making, he was trying to explain —
he was trying to defend his argument as to why
he does not support — he’s opposed to abortion and he does not even believe in
exemptions for rape and incest. And his argument was,
“If you go back in history, you know,
a lot of people got raped and a lot of people had incest, and I don’t know that my family
tree doesn’t have any of that.” -Yeah. I’d argue
it probably does, yeah. [ Laughter ] -It would explain a lot.
-Yeah. It would, yeah. -But, anyway,
so, in that instance, we just ran the clip. And then I just turned
to a guy on the panel, poor Mike Rogers,
former Republican Congressman, and just said, “Why does he say
things like that?” -Yeah.
-He didn’t have an answer.

100 Comments

  • MariPili Carrasco

    they cant openly say the catholic church asked for this to be done, so they have to come up with the craziest arguments.

  • Tidbit

    Factors that effected the 2016 election:
    1) Media bias which saw Trump receive 90% of the air time, and the media was very easy on Trump while practically holding Hillary's feet to the fire every damn interview about the stupid emails(which were never important, and still aren't a thing)
    = Trump + 34% Hillary – 9%
    2) James Comey(director of the FBI) launching a totally bogus investigation into Hillary's emails for a second time, right before the election (literally like 11 days before)
    = Trump no change Hillary – 5%
    3) The Russian influence campaign that specifically targeted MI, WI, and PA
    = Trump + 8% Hillary – 1%

    So lets just tally that up, without these very unfair factors,
    The Results = Trump 3% and Hillary 63% if the election were to be free and fair.

  • Mundy Morning Report

    Another sign that these guys are a french fry short of a happy meal… they deny abortions yet insist that there are too many people on the planet who just suck their resources and jobs away from them… So, fill the world with more unwanted and abandoned children… Yeah, that makes a lot of sense…. Not the sharpest tools in the shed, or under it. Peace, B

  • ursaltydog

    If it were up to you… you'd only have 5 candidates.. so.. CNN and DCCC decided to try to pit certain people against one another. Need better questions.

  • Tess Bennett

    Whenever someone on the right is accused of something truly heinous, there's always that one guy who asks if the bad thing is really so terrible. Yes, King. Shrugging at rape and incest in favor of controlling what women do with their own bodies is bad.

  • John Wick

    Trust me,these religious fanatics pro lifers don't care about burden after child is born.
    Steve King,another smug prick like Santorum.

  • Justice For All

    Yes King is an inbred, knuckle dragging idiot, but remember…his district has sent him there for many years. What does that say about that trash?

  • Blitznstitch2

    Sucks to be Hillary Clinton- to be so much not liked that a minority of voters in key districts would vote for trump. That’s not suspicious at all knowing Russia hacked every state or tried to. G

  • OhCrap247

    The New Republican Agenda: "We aren't Racists, We're just Misogynistic, Pro Rape and Pro Incest" Put that on a hat or a t-shirt.

  • Kami Snowpaw

    Lmfao… really tapper, you moron.. Republican debates substantive? What a fucking joke. Are you physically incapable of telling the truth and not falsely both sidesing things?

  • Self Destination

    No Mr.King. Without rape and incest there would still be a population.
    We wouldn't have conservatives perhaps, but the population would still be just fine.

  • justsaying

    What good are the debates if the loser….clearly a loser & lying bully end of becoming President. There is something wrong America.

  • Brandon Davidson

    Well, maybe you shouldn't have insane racists like that on your show, Jake. Maybe you shouldn't be giving them a platform in the first place.

  • tuvoksg1

    I'm sure there's a second segment to this but if Seth didn't bring up CNN's disgusting fight-baiting during the debates, that would be a huge let off.

  • ursaltydog

    Hillary only won the democratic nominee debates because she refused to debate her opponents fairly. That's one of the major reasons she lost votes or rather people not coming out to vote for her that would overshadow any Republican initiated disenfranchisement of voting by purging rolls. We'll have to see if the same occurs this time to the chagrin of the country.

  • Histopher Citchens

    (at 4:40) If even half the people in the audience understood this back & forth, they should have been laughing to tears.
    But these are Americans, so expectations should be adjusted accordingly…

  • Denyze

    Steve King is an abomination.
    He is a misogynist.
    Does anyone understand the cruelty inherent in his claim about rape and incest in the context of the abortion debate?

  • Mel Low

    Trump is doing us a favor, no longer is he a polarizing figure. Now he is just trump, nothing special or new to see here. He has already lost the 2020 candidacy by a landslide.

    You heard it here first!

  • ED S

    Crazy Iowa voters didn't know how twisted this guy is. If you look at some of his novels like Carrie and Misery, it's clear this is a twisted mind

  • Kim Lowe

    In my country, we do not use the phrase “mother-fucker” much, and we interpret it to be a criticism. Steve King’s comments show it to be a term of endearment and a descriptor of family behavior in America. The consequences of inbreeding can include intellectual deficiency and this might well explain why Donald Trump is elected. His hands on his daughter, Ivanka, suggests that Donald and Steve share some beliefs.

  • sam_well

    Hillary Clinton went after Trump with personally. Her debates had zero policies, while trump crashed her on her warmonger policies .

  • Robert matheny

    If you go back. A lot of people did not die from high tech wars. A lot of people did not die from nuclear weapons. A lot of people did not die from smoking. A lot of people did not die from sugar and obesity. Yet those are still around and being silenced.

  • Michael Dob

    Jake Tapper, you said you didn't want to look shallow during the debates? That ship has long sailed with CNN. You and your masters look like a kitty pool filled with horse crap. According to you, you only would want 5 people on the stage. Just come out and say it. Anyone but Berni or Tulsi, right?

  • Ken C

    Yep…I've watched Rep King during congressional hearings. He does make weird and offensive comments, but, that clip where he talks about rape and incest is just nuts. His attitude was: oh well, it happens, and (apparently) nobody can do much about it. I'm surprised someone on his staff didn't interrupt him, and whisper: "Sir, just say you're against abortion, and sit down. Please. You're talking like a crazy person."

  • HRS Darwish

    The debate format sucked. CNN framed the issues and the questions from a Republican point of view. Tapper framed the issue of Medicare for all as: "increasing taxes on the middle class". So meh, CNN is a load of crap.

  • Ingrid Wheeler

    I knew we were doomed during the 2016 debates when someone on the radio commented that one of the candidates "wasn't funny enough." (I don't remember which person, but they did not make it onto the ballots.)
    Get real, people: Despite the fact that sarcasm and spite may be a form of comedic entertainment, those are not Leadership qualities,

  • HRS Darwish

    Tapper allowed that Republican on the panel to go unchallenged when he said that Steve's views do not represent the views of Republicans. This was plain bad journalism. Steve King's stance on abortion is not only are adopted by Republicans, but they are also being passed as legislation in certain states. Missouri anyone?

  • Can you hear me Major Tom?

    in Germany or France Steve King's remarks would have been the end of his career….but definitely not in America

  • Nate Davies

    I can just imagine Steve King's family around Thanksgiving 80 years ago..
    'Golldarnit Josephine! Where are Adam and Josephina?'
    'Hold your toast Carlsbad! Adam's plucking her goose, they'll be down in a few!'
    'My children. Plucking on this, a day of thanks! I'll be my sister's father!'
    'Actually Carlsbad, you are!'
    'Ahh, that was a good Christmas!
    She did say no a bit too much for my liking..'

  • Andy Macedo

    That's awesome that strangers showed up to the lonely guys wife's funeral or wake ! There's good people out there ! Somewhere ! But he was so happy ! Y'all should belittle him and give him your suggestions and put him down and make fun of him ! Kick him while she's hurting and vulnerable ! There you go ! Then lie to him for years and harass him ! Then lie and ignore him and redirect him ! Then mock him and ridicule him and ask him if he wants a nice single Russian lady ! I'm sure he would appreciate the kindness ! Keep up the great work ! Mental health is doing fabulous things ! Like the constitution ! Just get rid of it ! Get rid of mental health ! Stop talking about it cause y'all do Nathan about Nathan and only address something after it's happened ! Look at suicide addiction gun violence and so many things depression assaults rape – etc etc etc get rid of any prevention things it's fake news and bullshit ! Ain't nobody there ! Time to face reality and grow up ! Do some more lying it's fabulous ! Anyway y'all must be proud as a peacock ! Inspiring things y'all are doing bringing awareness to NATHAN !

  • PU

    King,,,,,,I wonder what he would say if his wife or daughter was raped and became pregnant??? Wouldn’t wish that on any woman of course but just saying……….maybe he would see it different then??

  • RubelliteFae

    To be fair, he wasn't "defending rape & incest." He was defending his belief that it should be illegal to abort a child who is the product of those.
    I don't agree with King and he should have been removed from office years ago for much worse beliefs, but let's at least argue honestly. I'm getting so tired of Late Night hosts fudging the truth for an easier laugh. They complain the voters are dumb and then dumb down the story (or sentences describing the story).

    Edit: Trevor Noah seems to be the exception

  • Gary Druce

    The most poorly run corporate biased presentation of a debate on both nights CNN and you Jake Tapper were disgraceful

  • JJ

    I used to think Jake Tapper was a good journalist but he is a sham sensationalist reporter like most all of them are in mainstream media..

  • Dan D

    Did tapper really compare microphone clips like it is a status thing?… it must be a pain in the ass to not have enough money for a mic clip.. I can't imagine his struggle

  • Sneaky Bunny

    King said that because he is a stupid hateful evil little man. Anyone who votes for him is just as bad. Nothing can excuse or make up for his comments.

  • The Long Khan

    Jack tapper should be ashamed for bringing that Nazi Richard Spencer on his show to legitimize trump’s jingoistic rhetoric

  • ybrt

    Oh Jake, such a likeable and smart guy…
    If only he weren't such a dead-inside, self-centered nihilist, chuckling at rape and incest…

  • David Copperfield-not the magician

    And you notice King is spewing about male on female rape. Dominating men. There are lots of variations of rape and incest. What a sicko. What has he been up to??

  • Honest Opinion

    What else do you expect from Evangelicals.
    Evangelicals Support Racists, Neo-Nazis, Children in cages, NRA, Bigotry, Sex Predators. Burn the Bible and end Hypocrisy!!
    Evangelicals have no soul!!!

  • Castle

    The Steve King comment was like "Let's see how can we defend the lifes of the unborn babies" but if Trump would've written the defense argument, I understand what he wad trying to say but the way he say it was completely and utterly wrong

  • Thomas Panto

    If we go back in history , everyone was a predators using fangs and claws before sharing the accumulating wisdom of the world across time and becoming the successful cooperation called ''domesticated''.

  • Heather Remlin

    Jake Tapper looks so much different here than on his show.
    I didn't like him moderating the debates … just not solid enough!

  • JeevesReturns

    I think Steve King was trying to explain Eric’s existence at trump’s behest. There’s really no other explanation is there? When I heard the ‘incest’ part I was like “oh… ok I get it now…(giggle). Yeah I totally get it”.

  • M Boaz

    Why does he say things like that?–Because he believes them. And at voting time you get to find out how many of your neighbors agree with him.

  • Joy Bradford

    Oh ya, Steve King for sure has incest in his family tree. His parents were probably brother and sister. I'd bet on it!

  • TK Wallace

    “For those of you who are not familiar with Congressman King’s oeuvre, he says a lot of just really insane and offensive things” (04:03–04:14).

    Thank you, Jake Tapper. It’s not… I’m not too familiar with the history of American journalism, but through the 1960s, serious newsmen could present sensible observations about the information they covered. It’s their job! The purpose of expertise is to ensure that people who don’t have in-depth knowledge of a subject still have access to it in a way they understand. We’ve somehow reached the point where relaying information without identifying the truth, showing “all sides” rather than dismissing what’s obviously or evidently BS, is considered the “ethical” norm. And it’s GROSS.

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