Media tout White House chaos

This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," March 4, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the buzz meter this Sunday, the media portray a White House under siege on several front. Hope Hicks resigns as communications director after disruptively suggest she told white lies for the president.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Think about that, the White House communications director admits that she lied, whatever the color to the public.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: She admits she told a white lie. To me a white lie is the president would like to do the interview and he just -- it's a nice way of saying no.


KURTZ: More negative stories as Jared Kushner's security clearance is abruptly downgraded.


BERNSTEIN: We have a situation here. Really, with a rogue son-in- law of the president of the United States with nobody, except perhaps the special prosecutor and perhaps the president of the United States knows really what hell he has been up to.

DAVID ASMAN, FOX BUSINESS: This is such small potatoes and the way the media has been playing it up on the Trump page everywhere when certain people -- by the way the Obama administration either lost their security clearance or didn't get security clearance and that wasn't big news back then.

BRUNI: I think we might be seeing the end of Jared and Ivanka. I think they have had a really rough last couple of days.


KURTZ: And the president accused his attorney general of disgraceful handling of the FISA surveillance investigation.


ABRAMS: This is not normal. Let's be clear. It is not normal to have a public spat with the attorney general over his independence.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS: I agree precisely with what the president said. The president should be telling the attorney general what he wants done.

BORGER: They tell me they are worried about it because they say this has a different feel and they say that he's, you know, spiraling, kind of lashing out, out of control.


KURTZ: Is the press over dramatizing these developments as the White House as chaotic as these media reports suggest. And why are the pundits slamming Ivanka Trump for challenging a NBC question about her father's accusers.

The president continues his extraordinary televised memes on gun legislation, siding with Democrats in some of this but press remains skeptical over why so few journalists are giving this Republican president credit for challenging the NRA.

Plus, Alec Baldwin says he's sick of playing President Trump. And the president says he is sick of the SNL shtick. Live from Washington, I'm Howard Kurtz and this is Media Buzz.

Hope hicks who I first met in the first week of Donald Trump's campaign, which is the press operation, stunned Washington by resigning. A communications director whose voice few Americans have heard.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: she is a little shy, but that is OK, because she is really, really talented. Hope, say a couple words.

HOPE HICKS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Hi. Merry Christmas, everyone, and thank you, Donald Trump.


KURTZ: The move came one day after her closed door testimony on Capitol Hill and conflicting accounts of what she said, why she quit and her impact on the White House.

Joining us now to analyze the coverage of a dizzying week for the administration, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the Federalist and a Fox News contributor, Ed Henry, Fox News' chief national correspondent and Capri Cafaro, a Washington Examiner contributor and former Democratic senator in Ohio.

Mollie, so everyone's headlines, losing Hope -- very clever. The departure of Hope Hicks who very much stayed behind the scenes and was a trusted presidential confidant is being cast by the press as the latest sign of utter chaos at the White House.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, we are getting this latest psycho stories, all the same chaos. There seems to be a cyclical nature to the stories where the press, every few weeks or every few months come up with a narrative about how things are spiraling out of control. That is one of a couple of months ago about how Donald Trump's mental health was clearly in question.

And then not just consider the way, so this is not just the latest cycle that they are in. And a lot of these stories are based on anonymous sources about internal chaos.

Clearly this white house is very different from a lot of other White Houses. At the same time, I don't think anonymous sources have been serving a lot of our journalists very well.

Not only because they so frequently turn out to be false, but also because many reporters just don't seem to understand this White House and this president, and that has been proven time and time again for years.

KURTZ: A lot of these anonymous sources are people that are inside White House or around the White House, whose tend to be sort of trash talking the president.

But the press kind of put a negative span on Hope's departure because that came after that closed door House testimony, which I reflected to, it was leak that came out in the New York Time in which she was alleged to have acknowledged telling white lies on the president's behalf.

Other accounts say, well she was asked a question about white lies, she didn't try to spin he out of it. She just said I'm out of here. I mean, because wasn't -- she is really not that conservative about protecting the president. What do make of the way her departure was covered.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Wait, the press put a negative spin on something Donald Trump did? I mean, this is the same song playing over and over again. When you played those clips at the top of the show I thought, is it live or is this memorized? You know, they are old ad.


HENRY: Because you could play a tape from three months ago. Donald Trump is spiraling. There is chaos. On the other had, to be fair and balanced, this White House is feeding the chaos narrative with a lot of developments this week, number one and number two.

When, Mollie, rightly talks about these anonymous sources, something right or something wrong, there are people inside the White House or other fringes of the White House, advisors to the president.

And yet, some people puff themselves up and they are not really advisors, just like in any administration. But in this case, I have never seen a White House where people like to dump on themselves and dump on the president. It is ridiculous.

KURTZ: Remarkable, I have talked to three sources myself, who is saying moral is really down at the White House but Politico and others, Capri, is saying, well, Gary Cohn may quit after losing the battle over tariffs, on steel aluminum...


KURTZ: ... H.R. McMaster. According NBC, the president says that is fake new. There is a stunning degree of turn over but isn't it true that ultimately these are all staffs?

CAFARO: Sure. There is no question it seems that the media is trying to, you know, really I think amplify the issue that there is turnover. I think that they are trying to create this narrative that this rapid turnover is, you know, faster than it has been in any other White House.

And so I did a little bit of digging here because I was curious, you know. I consume media from a bunch of different sources. And you know, we hear the word chaos bantered about. We hear the word disarray bantered about. And just a very cursory, you know, little research I did -- NPR headlined, Trump containment team loses influence as chaos at the White House gets worse.

Politico, demoralized west wing, stokes fear as over Trump's capacity to handle a crisis, CNN, fueling Trump's chaos. So it goes on and on. And then with disarray, ABC News, Whit House -- Trump White House in disarray creates openings for U.S. rivals. Washington Post, it could go on and on, and on.


HENRY: And also to your point, Howie, no offense to Hope Hicks, she has been very influential and very important to this president, but every staffer in every administration is replaceable.


CAFARO: I actually don't think Hope Hicks -- Hicks is replaceable and here is why...

KURTZ: If you might come close in kidnapping the president because she is...


CAFARO: Because she has been there.

KURTZ: And by the way, Washington Post today front page story, anonymous officials say it's pure madness at the White House. Let's turn to Jared Kushner, he lost his top secret security clearance. The FBI never finished it, John Kelly made the decision. It was quickly leaked. The media treating this like a monumental set back. I wonder if the media are being used ina roll by anti-Jared forces who wants to embarrass him and maybe push him out.

HEMINGWAY: Right, that is another thing. If you are going to use anonymous sources who are leaking against each other, I think it's come in upon you to kind of understand what -- how you are being used. And clearly, there are some factional as in the White House and warring groups going against each other. I don't think that part of the story has been well put into all of these.

KURTZ: The New York Times, Mr. Trump is also frustrated with Mr. Kushner, who he now uses a liability and say, you know, name sources.

But then came, you know, has just been sort of -- they are all one way, we have now the New York Times story that Kushner's real estate company, from which he on leave, got $500 million in loans from two other companies whose executives, Jared met within the White House. No direct connection there and no sense that he got, you know, below record rate but the appearance is not good and I think that seems to be...

HENRY: Jared Kushner almost never speaks so we never really hear his side of the story and it's been a pile on. I think he clearly should have conducted himself a lot more carefully than he has, number one. On the other hand I think, what's also been going on. There was a leak this week that came out of nowhere.

And it was Donald Trump on drudge, he is running for reelection in 2020, very early and Brad Parscale is going to be the campaign manager. And it was just like, throw this down, where is this coming from? To, Mollie's point, what is being leaked?

My understanding from people inside Trump world, is this was clearly leaked by Jared Kushner because he and Brad Parscale are close from the campaign, the rule kind of guys, OK?


HENRY: And there were in the trench together, and Kushner is looking for his way out. It might be, six months from now or like a year from now. But they were locking that down, he is running -- and Parscale is doing it, and then that gives Jared a way out. He will join him.

KURTZ: Let me say about that is that all presidents are running for reelection. It is not a shock. It is a shock maybe...


CAFARO: It is a really interesting point. I do think that the media though has had it out for Jared and Ivanka, you know, for quite some time. I think that there has been an intrigue surrounding this power couple and I think that there are people probably inside the White House and outside the White House that don't know what to make of this because they are family, they are so close. It is a unique...

KURTZ: They have never liked the fact that two members of the president's family who are senior White House advisers are in the Washington Post the other day, fall of the house of Kushner. He was once the prince of Washington referring to Jared. Now he is isolated and badly weaken. So there is this undercover...

CAFARO: They almost want -- they almost want them to fail.

HENRY: Both can be true. The media has been out to get Jared and Ivanka. On the other, if you are the president's son-in-law and you are running Mid East peace, you better conduct yourself cleaner than others.

KURTZ: All right, so let me get to this last point, and this is the president himself stirring the pot on Twitter as he is want to do, let's put up the tweet why is AG Jeff Session, asking the attorney general to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. It will take forever as no prosecutor power or already late with reports on Comey, et cetera.

Isn't it the AG an Obama guy, why not use Justice Department lawyers? Disgraceful. I say that's an important story because it does go to the question now to the independence of the attorney general and the president doesn't want to order him to do this because it will look bad, so he just does it through Twitter.

HEMINGWAY: I think it's also kind of a media tweet. I think what you have seen in recent weeks ad the media have sort of shamelessly not covering credible allegations of FISA abuse at the Department of Justice and FBI, and by putting it into this tweet, and attacking Sessions, which is very abnormal for most of presidents, completely non-abnormal for this president.

You are forcing people to actually explain the context, but there is this issue of FISA abuse. And that if this could be dealt with, I mean the media really should be running hard on this story, and they are not.

KURTZ: So you are saying that the president has executive producer?


KURTZ: Are you trying to read the assignment -- now interestingly, Sessions didn't push back. He didn't whine. He didn't leave. He put out a statement saying he has conducted himself with honor and integrity. And continued to do so, and then you have all these leaks about privately the president is even furious with Sessions and we have been through this before.

HENRY: And the president told one of his friends that he would replace Sessions right now. If for the fact that Chuck Schumer would take a year to fight into, you know, approve from replacement, and obviously it would feud this narrative that he fired Comey and now he wants, too.

The other thing I would say is just -- is just one thing after another with the media pile-on, and you know, I just think when Sessions is out there and you have all of these people from the Obama days for example saying, independence from the Justice Department is so important.

They apparently slept through the colder days and the fast and furious documents we couldn't get. You know, almost the Justice Department is just (Inaudible) virtue in administration.

HEMINGWAY: It is not just that. The media actually have a conflict of interest in covering this story. We have has a leak coming out at the Department of Justice and FBI for over a year -- criminal leaks. It's actually a felony to leak classified information. And yet, there is not a lot of media interest in pursuing the story or holding people accountable because the media, themselves, are the beneficiaries.

KURTZ: Let me just add, as an old Justice Department, imagine how the press would play it if Jeff Sessions who had been a campaign surrogate for Trump who has his own contacts with Russia who are accused conducted the investigation himself, instead of giving it to an independent I.G. -- inspector general who has worked to both Democratic and Republican administration, it would have zero credibility but I think you are right, Mollie.

The president wants us to tell us more about this. Let be get a break. A reminder to our California viewers, I'll be speaking tomorrow at the Reagan Library at 6:00 p.m., signing copies of my new book. There it is. Media Madness, the press and the war over the truth.

When we come back, the president scolds Republican senators for being afraid of the NRA. But the press seems to be more interested in debating his personal bravery. And later, former Trump adviser David Bossie responds to these reports about chaos at the White House.


KURTZ: Some conservative commentators aren't happy with the President Trump on the issue of guns. He held another one of those televised meeting seem to side with Democrats at time and said this about the NRA.


TRUMP: These are great patriots, they love our country. But that doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can't be petrified.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Using the propaganda arm of the American media, the Democratic Party succeeded in bullying Republican leaders into making pointless concessions on gun control, including the president by the way.


KURTZ: But that was no way near as biggest stories when the president got a little braggadocious and threw lots of media mockery.


TRUMP: You know I really believe, you don't know until you test it. But I think -- I really believe I would run in even if I didn't have a weapon. I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too, because I know most of you.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: The most of objectively cowardly man who has ever occupied the presidency of the United States said something that no previous present, including the presidents who were shot at in combat would have said.


KURTZ: But, Mollie, the president said something he probably should have said and the press just goes absolutely bizarre, it ends up in my view of overshadowing the substance of talking about background checks and arming teacher who have been training, the age limits and all of that.

HEMINGWAY: It's a great example of this dynamic we see where the president says something stupid, and then the media so overreacts. That they become the story of who is really -- and there was a story that came about how he had interrupted an armed robbery or something.

KURTZ: A hypothetical comment.

HEMINGWAY: Yes, but in real life he had interrupted an armed robbery like decades ago.


HEMINGWAY: I think that it's really bad that the media has been so involved in pushing this gun control narrative, particularly in this story where everything we learn about this story in Parkland shooting is a story of gun law failure from the FBI to the school resource officer to the school, to the local sheriff's office of just catastrophic government failure, and the media to be pushing a disarm yourself narrative is journalistically questionable and it also just doesn't put the fact of...

HENRY: Right, it doesn't out the narrative so there is not a daily drumbeat about why the Broward County sheriff hasn't resigned. A lot of people immediately move out and like, OK...

CAFARO: That's what happens to every time single time though. I mean every time there is some kind of a school shooting. And I say this is someone who is endorsed by the NRA and had a school shooting in my district. The second that you know, it gets boring in the news cycle, they walk away even though, you know, the tragedy occurred.

KURTZ: Let me just talk because when the president said that he was criticizing the deputy sheriffs who did not go in. And look, he said it in front of the cameras. Obviously, you reported on it. It is just was this sort of avalanche. And I'm nearly struck by the fact that, you now, you said disarm yourself narrative.

I mean, the president seemed to be trying to find common ground with Democrats about modest steps. A lot of people (Inaudible) don't like that. But yet, there is less debate about that and less credit to the president for at least appearing to take on this powerful group that backed him and more about, he wouldn't' have done that. He is not really brave.

CAFARO: You know, here is what I say. You know, coming from the Democrat perspective but also again, having the background with the NRA.

You know I think that President Trump what he said publicly, I think has given people hope that there is finally going to be some kind of, you know, activity surrounding this issue because there hasn't been any coming out of Congress. And the White House can't do it alone. They have to do it, you know, obviously, with the Congressional...

KURTZ: All right, I want to get back to the media and so, when the president was talking in one of these weeks about dealing with the mentally ill. He said take the guns first, go for due process second. There was an explosion on the right and it is true Barack Obama has said that, conservatives would go crazy. Fox would be covering its counseling.

HEMINGWAY: Yes, Mike Pence is talking about gun violence restraining orders, where people are -- if you are worried about someone committing violence with a gun, you can get a restraining order for that person.

He explained it very well. He explained it doesn't violate dues process then Trump talked and he said, oh, well, let's just get rid of due process. That's a horrific thing to hear from a president.

And it is actually one of those statement, much like a lot of his statements on guns but support this narrative that he is a tyrant. And yet, the media who are so quick to freak out if he said something against like the media criticize him, they say oh, he is violating the first amendment. They didn't even notice these violations of the Second Amendment or constitutional protections...

CAFARO: They have latched on to the fact that, you know, he has said one thing in public -- in a public meeting but at the same time, he has had, you know, closed door meetings with...

KURTZ: Hold on. But did the president publicly said yes, I met with the NRA at another time. The NRA makes is trying to make it seem like he's back them up on some of these things. We will have to see but the media is -- what do you think? It's just for (Inaudible) -- maybe that is not true.

HENRY: Can I make another point about the media which he said, very few people are reporting out. We all scream for more access to presidents, Democrat and Republican. I did it when I was running a White House correspondents association.

Here is a president now who's opening up these negotiations. He doesn't see everything perfectly. I get it. And everything, Mollie, said is true. There were statements he needed to clean up but he is transparent and open, and we are seeing the sausage being made.

KURTZ: Instead of having to rely on leaks from people...


KURTZ: I think it's been remarkable for television and we'll see if it's good policy making. Capri Cafaro, Ed Henry, and Mollie Hemingway, thanks very much for stopping by this Sunday. Ahead, we have got flap over that NBC question to Ivanka about the women accusing her father. But up next, we will talk to a Miami Herald reporter whose reputation was solid by fake tweets after the Florida School shooting.


KURTZ: There are some fake news -- a hacker or hackers targeted the Miami Herald after the Parkland school shooting, creating a bogus Herald story warning that a Miami-Dade middle school faced potentially catastrophic events on certain days, spreading plenty of fear in the process as you might imagine.

And there was more. Joining us now from Miami, Alex Harris, a reporter from Miami Herald. And Ales, some hacker created two fake tweets under your name, totally bogus. What do those tweets say?

ALEX HARRIS, MIAMI HERALD: All right, the first tweet that I saw showed a real tweet that I has sent but they changed the line in center to say that I asked for photos or videos of dead bodies.

And then a few hours later, another one popped up and it was the exact same story. The same tweet that I already sent but it changes the sentence in the middle to ask, did you see the shooter, was he white?

KURTZ: Totally changing the meaning, of course. How realistic did these tweets look to your eye?

HARRIS: They looked completely real. I would have fallen for them, too. They were either photo shopped or use some sort of text replacement file that -- I mean, it still had my blue verified check mark, it had the time stamp. It looks perfectly real.

KURTZ: Right. I actually showed the real tweets and just completely and totally distorted the meaning, obviously trying to stir up trouble. So, what kind of reaction did that cause and what did people say abut you?

HARRIS: Oh, it set up a complete explosion online. People were very upset that I -- thought I was the person with a story with a race based narrative, they thought I was race baiting and they thought I was coming at the story with an agenda.

The tweet about the shooter's race definitely took off a lot more than the fake tweet asking for photos and videos of dead bodies, so that one is the one that I was dealing with a couple of days.

KURTZ: Was that a hard time for you and how do you fight back, because a lot of people don't know or never find out that the tweets were bogus.

HARRIS: Absolutely. It was overwhelming because I was trying to do my job, I was trying to get the stories of these victims and the survivors out. And every time I opened Twitter, it was just an avalanche of people screaming at me. And it really took away from the hard work. My colleagues and I were working -- were doing to try to tell these stories and get the news out there so people can hear it.

KURTZ: Right. It is in the middle of this heartbreaking tragedy that you are working all kinds of hours to cover. So finally, Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter got in touch with you and he apologized. He said he didn't have a fix for the problem but he say he might run any future solutions by you. What was your reaction to that conversation?

HARRIS: It's a great thing he apologized. It is great that he understands my perspective of what it is like to be ambushed with all of this kind of harassment. And I am interested in the solutions they bring forward. But I also respected that there is not really a scalable solution right and I respect that Twitter doesn't want to censor viewpoint.

KURTZ: Yes, I have more to say about Jack Dorsey and Twitter later but its must be extremely frustrating to be dealing. It's good that the president -- that the founder of the company called you, but they've got to find a way to fix this. Difficult (Inaudible), Alex Harris, thanks very much for joining us this Sunday.

HARRIS: Thank you.

KURTZ: Good to see you. And ahead on Media Buzz, David Bossie on the president, the press in this week's tsunami of negative coverage, but first, the pundits pile-on Ivanka Trump for telling an NBC reporter, his question about her dad's accusers was inappropriate.


KURTZ: Ivanka Trump was representing our country at the Olympics when this question, from NBC's Peter Alexander touched off a media frenzy.


PETER ALEXANDER: Do you believe your father's accusers?

IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL DAUGHER: I think it's a pretty inappropriate question to ask a daughter if she believes the accusers of her father when he affirmatively stated that there is no truth to it. I don't think that is a question you would ask many other daughters. I believe my father. I know my father. So I think I have that right as a daughter to believe my father.

KATY TUR: Message to Ivanka Trump. You work in the White House. You are a Presidential Advisor. That question is totally fair game. Here's the reason, it's not just that she has taken and job with a formal title. She has taken on the issue, not just women issues, but of me too and women's rights.

HURT: It was a rude question and you know he would never have asked anybody else that question, and the only reason he asked her is because she is the daughter of Donald Trump.


KURTZ: Joining us now, Kristin Tate, a Columnist for the Hill and Author of the new book, How Do I Tax Thee, and in New York, Cathy Areu, Publisher of Catalina Magazine and a former Editor at the Washington Post Magazine. So Kristin, let's start with NBC. Was there something out of line with an NBC correspondent asking Ivanka Trump to weigh in on the women who accused the President of either having affairs or sexual harassment.

KRISTIN TATE, COLUMNIST FOR THE HILL: Well, first, Howie, this kind of obnoxious question kind of just illustrates why so many Americans hate the media. It was an attempt to just embarrass Ivanka Trump. But having said that, this question was fair game, the media does have the right to ask Ivanka tough questions.

Ivanka made herself a top government official and she cannot exempt herself from tough questions about the President just because the President is her father. That's why we have nepotism laws in this country.

But I think what's making conservatives really angry about this is that we rarely see left-leaning figures face these kinds of questions. When Hillary Clinton was running for President, Bill Clinton's alleged sex and her enabling of them rarely came up. Those were untouchable subjects.

KURTZ: Cathy, there was a tsunami of criticism saying yes, Ivanka is a White House official. She should be able to answer any question. And she did answer the question. But Kristin says it was an obnoxious question but not an unfair one, your take.

CATHY AREU, PUBLISHER OF CATALINA MAGAZINE: I actually agree with Kristin. It was a fair question. The media does have the right to ask the question. The media has the right to ask the big questions. And the sad part is we aren't hearing answers as often as we like to anymore.

This White House doesn't like to answer questions, but I'm glad the media is still asking from Ivanka like we would like to anymore. But I am glad the media is still asking questions and asking the big questions. And have lots of questions asked.

Chelsea Clinton was asked about her father's behavior back in 2016. So this has been asked of Democrats as well Republicans. So they are not ruling out Ivanka Trump or the Trumps in any way. The Clinton's have faced the same criticism. So media is doing what it does best, asking the questions.

KURTZ: You know, Kristin, whether Ivanka answered the question or didn't answer the question, it was all guaranteed to make news so you could see the temptation there. But it wasn't asked because she was the President's daughter, not because she was a White House official.

If you had the same situation at the Olympics and it had been Kelly Anne Conway would NBC ask that question. Or was it because she happens to be President's daughter?

TATE: Probably a combination of both. We all know the media despises the Trump administration. Something like 93 percent coverage by CNN and NBC during Trump's first year of his administration was negative towards the administration. There is so much hypocrisy in the media. Everybody knows that if Ivanka Trump were a Democrat's daughter, the media would worship her.

She is everything the left claims to champion. She is an independent, strong woman who carved her own path in a business surrounded by strong men. But because she is the daughter of the most of hated Republican in modern political history, she is subject to constant vicious attacks.

KURTZ: It makes me wonder, Cathy, because you know Ivanka Trump in the past before her father got into politics, she generally got good press for her career in New York. I wonder what you think underlying this is a kind of resentment. We talked about Jared Kushner, too. We talked about him earlier in the program.

That they shouldn't be there, that they shouldn't have these jobs, but even if you believe that as a journalist, aren't they entitled to fair coverage?

AREU: Well, they are getting fair coverage. If it was anyone else, these people probably would have been kicked out of the White House. So they're getting coverage.

KURTZ: Why would Ivanka Trump have been kicked out of the White House?

AREU: They are such a distraction. They're truly a distraction. And the fact that she was.


TATE: You can't get kicked out for being a distraction.

AREU: She was selling her dresses on QVC, which no one else has ever done. At the Republican convention, she was selling her dresses the same day, telling people to purchase her dresses. No one has ever done that on the history of our politics. Here is my father, he's running for President, buy my dress, literally put out a tweet the next day.


KURTZ: I understand questions about Jared Kushner because he's entangled in the Russian investigation, Ivanka Trump becoming a distraction, and therefore she should be kicked out of the White House. I think we are seeing here.


KURTZ: OK, we get it. You don't like them. I wonder Kristin, whether you think there is just sort of an animus powering this coverage, of this married couple. And also, the larger narrative about -- we talked about White House in chaos, out of control. The President is mad. He's angry. He's isolated with Hope leaving.

Not that it's all untrue, but do you think this is driven by press negativity?

TATE: Yes. And the media is probably over blowing the amount of chaos in the White House. I will say this. Trump has a bold, brash personality. He tells it like it is, and that probably does cause some conflict in the White House, especially among people who very used to business as usual and the swamp.

But those very same aggressive personality traits are probably why Trump has accomplished so much. I mean the Heritage Foundation founded Trump accomplished 63 percent of his agenda goals in the first year. That's amazing.

KURTZ: I want to give Cathy the last word on this question of coverage of chaos, of the White House being out of control. What do you think? It's a little bit over dramatized.

AREU: Well, it's truly chaotic. The media would be blind not to report the obvious that the White House is chaotic and that we have this President on Twitter, showing how chaotic is actually is. I mean he's chaotic. The White House is chaotic. It's overflowing. It can't be ignored. So the media has to report on it.

They're not over blowing it. They're stating the facts.

KURTZ: Fortunately, the segment wasn't too chaotic even after you initially agreed and now obviously strong in disagreeing. Great to see you both, Cathy and Kristin, thanks very much.

Coming up, the press insists the White House is being damaged by this chaos and bad morale. Dave Bossie weighs in on that. And later, does Alec Baldwin really want to stop playing the President?


KURTZ: After what the press is portraying as a very rocky week for the President, I sat down with Dave Bossie, Donald Trump's former Deputy Campaign Manager, President of Citizens United and a Fox News Contributor. Dave Bossie, welcome.


KURTZ: CNN's Gloria Borger says quotes advisors are saying they're scared of the President is spiraling, lashing out, just out of control, axios is quoting he's in a bad place, mad as hell about the internal chaos. Somebody is telling these things to journalists. What is your take?

BOSSIE: It's unfair for people to be doing that off the record, and it's detrimental to our country. It's detrimental to this President and it's not factual. You look at what the President is doing. You look at how this country is moving forward, whether or not it is in the economy, through our peace through strength, foreign policy, our security at home and abroad.

KURTZ: You are saying the White House is smoothly functioning right now?

BOSSIE: Everybody can have their opinion on how this White House should run. But everybody has always had an opinion on how Washington, D.C. should operate. And guess what? It has been broken for a long time. So you have a non-politician get elected, somebody who is not part of the establishment. And he's a change agent.

That's what got him elected. Part of the reason he got elected and he's doing things differently. That disrupts the status quo in Washington and makes people uncomfortable. He's got his Make America Great Again agenda, he made promises and he's keeping them.

KURTZ: One person who has an opinion on this is Anthony Scaramucci and he said the following.


ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Morale is terrible. The reason why the morale is terrible is that the rule by fear and intimidation does not work in a civilian environment. Here we are. It's messed up. It will be up to the President to figure out if he wants to fix it or not.


KURTZ: So fear and intimidation. Morale is terrible.

BOSSIE: I think Anthony has his opinion. And I do get concerned about the morale of the staff. But this President, through this leadership, whether or not it is through his economic actions, through a lower unemployment rate. The economy is now starting to soar. His actions keep that place running because they know. The people inside that building know they are part of what's making America great again.

KURTZ: You worked with Hope Hicks during the campaign, obviously. Was her decision to leave spurred at least in part, by the huge coverage of her house testimony?

BOSSIE: I am a huge fan of Hope Hicks. I believe that she is one of the nicest, most thoughtful and incredibly hard working people I have ever had the pleasure of working besides. She has the President's ear and that's been well known for years. And I am glad that she has been that person who has been able to be somebody who is close to this President.

KURTZ: She is joining the wave of those who are leaving.

BOSSIE: She is leaving and there is no easy time for somebody like her to leave. Whether it's that day or another day, it will still be the same coverage of why and when. She is going to, like a lot of folks, stay in touch with this President and be part of his orbit but be on the outside.

KURTZ: You've been known to do that. Now there has been a wave of negative stories about Jared Kushner, the downgrade of security clearance, stories about his business dealings. Do you think the press just has it in for Jared and Ivanka and would like to see them go back to New York?

BOSSIE: It's so unfair. And it seems to be the sport in this town to kill those who come here to work. Jared and Ivanka come here to serve all Americans in those posts they currently hold, helping this President in his agenda. Jared and Ivanka are volunteers. They don't take a salary.

People have to understand. They take this beating for nothing. It's detrimental.

KURTZ: But here is the Wall Street Journal saying Mr. Kushner and Ivanka have to decide if they would serve themselves and the President better by walking away from their formal White House roles.

BOSSIE: They write that in today's mindset which Jared is under attack. And so would it be better for him to leave? I personally am one who would tell Jared if he was listening to me to say, you know what, I wouldn't walk away from this. I would say to the President, I serve at your pleasure and I will be here as long as you want me.

KURTZ: The President televised meetings on mass shootings, what to do considering gun legislation. Do you think the press is giving him enough credit, really and any credit for at least in some measures challenging the NRA?

BOSSIE: He challenges conventional wisdom. That's what he has always done, whether or not it was during the campaign or during his first year as President.

KURTZ: Why do you think the press has not given his him due in tackling this very sensitive, emotional and controversial issue of guns?

KURTZ: You know the Democrats, even though they say they want a solution. They only want their solution, which is to grab the guns. It's very similar to the immigration debate, which I believe the press is on the Democrats' side. I believe the mainstream media does hold out on those issues leaning towards the Democrats' side of it.

The immigration issue, the President tried to make a concerted effort to try to meet them. It wasn't the republican orthodoxy but it was something they wanted to get done. They hate this President more than they want to see this country succeed.

KURTZ: Dave Bossie thanks so much for stopping by.

BOSSIE: Thanks for having me.

KURTZ: Good to see you.

After the break, Alec Baldwin claims he's fed up mocking Donald Trump, and the President punching back hard.



ALEC BALDWIN, AMERICAN ACTOR: No one loves the Second Amendment and due process more than me. But maybe we just take everyone's guns away, OK? Nobody is aloud to have a gun. Not even whites.


HOWARD KURTZ, MEDIA BUZZ SHOW HOST, FOX NEWS: Alec Baldwin there last night on SNL says it's become agony -- agony to play Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, talking with a Hollywood reporter, saying, I don't care, anybody over this guy. It doesn't matter. We have to get rid of him.

The president didn't much like that. And an hour after my next guest reported on Baldwin's jabs, he tweeted this. Alec Baldwin whose dying mediocre career was saved by his terrible impersonation of me on SNL, now says playing me was agony.

Alec, it was agony for those who were forced to watch. Bring back Darrell Hammond, funnier and a far greater talent. Joining us now from New York, Carley Shimkus -- a reporter for Fox News headlines 24/7 on SiriusXM.

So, is Alec Baldwin being just a bit disingenuous or is he just doesn't want to go in paying Trump. He is so tired of it, when it has brought him so much fun -- so much fame to mock a president, he clearly he despises.

CARLEY SHIMKUS, FOX NEWS HEADLINES 24/: Yes, he had seem a little bit dramatic on his part, getting it, considering all the up side that it has brought his career.

But also the president hasn't tweeted about celebrity in sometimes, so I guess we were, too. You know, some of the president's tweets about celebrities, I think are really because, you know, he's seriously trying to make a point and he feels wrong.

In other times, he is trying to be funny. I think this one falls sort of in the latter categories. But the strange thing is about poll after poll shows that the American people don't really like this kind of behavior from the president.

So you think that he would take that into consideration. But I think that the president's desire to settle scores sort of Trumps the polling is a lack of a better word.

KURTZ: So to speak. Well, I have no doubt that he is a very talented guy. But you know, Baldwin, now sort of owns this impression and I think even people who aren't crazy about the president's tweeting would think that he has a right to kind of hit back against a guy who in such a prominent and sometime mean spirited way.

I mean in other words, this isn't just a job for Alec Baldwin. He can't stand the guy. He tweeted that, well, I can't wait for your impeachment, so I guess I will stick around. I think that American people would give the president some slack on this. Do you disagree?

SHIMKUS: Well, you know, no matter what you think about the president's tweets, whether he should be tweeting about celebrities or not, he usually does have some semblance of a point as to why he's tweeting about that.

But on the flip side of that is every time he does tweet about one of his, so to speak, enemies he gives them an incredible amount of publicity. Now this one really works in Alec Baldwin's favor because a sneak peek of his new talk show, which is airing after the Oscars tonight. So...



SHIMKUS: That's right.


SHIMKUS: And he is on people's minds. People are talking about him, so maybe more people will possibly tune in to watch.

KURTZ: Baldwin loves it. Speaking of celebrities, the former Apprentice celebrity Omarosa gets fired at the White House. She is taking another shot on the last episode of Celebrity Big Brother at the president and his White House. Take a look.


OMAROSA MANIGAULT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: That was -- all I had what my word. Oh, freedom, I am masticated. I feel like I just got freed off a plantation.


KURTZ: About plantation, Omarosa also said because I was black, nobody would talk to me at the White House. Is this like legitimate complaints or just plain sour grapes?

SHIMKUS: Well you know, she is getting, you know, some serious criticism for using something as serious as slavery to describe her time at the White House. But she is somebody who treats real life like reality TV where everything is a game.

She has created an entire career and identity off of knowing the president. And now that he time at the White House didn't work out, she is creating a new identity of being President Trump's number one critic. I think that her main goal is to create as many headlines as possible. And people feed her that act.

KURTZ: Right. On that point, you are right. And plantation, slavery -- I mean, that was just way over the line. Carley Shimkus, great to see you as always.

SHIMKUS: Thank you so much.

KURTZ: Still to come, a plea for help from Twitter which have been rocked by a whole lot of problems.


KURTZ: John Moody, Fox's executive vice president and executive editor has retired. Moody, held those titles in recent years, despite basically becoming a columnist is leaving shortly after his offensive piece on the U.S. Olympic committee saying its slogan should be darker, gayer, and different, case a storm of criticism.

Fox News pulled that from its website. Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey has been brutally candid about the company's column saying, he isn't proud to have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots, and human coordination, miss information campaigns.

He says Twitter has been accused of censorship, political bias and only caring about profits, and quote, this is not who we are. So good for, Dorsey, for asking for help, asking experts to submit proposals to fix the problems plaguing Twitter, and therefore, out culture. It's like it can fix. That is it for this edition of Media Buzz. I am Howard Kurtz.

Let me know what you think at Twitter -- on Twitter at Howard Kurtz. Check out our Facebook page, post a lot of content there, videos, columns, interact with folks out there. If you want to email us, We will be back here next Sunday. See you then, hope that you will be watching to the latest buzz.

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