White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah got into a Twitter spat with ABC’s Jon Karl on Sunday, after Karl accused the executive branch of muzzling Dr. Anthony Fauci and preventing him from doing media interviews, despite the infectious disease expert making multiple media appearances in recent days.
Karl, who hosts “The Week,” claimed Fauci was being prevented from appearing for political purposes and shared a clip from his show where he expressed the same sentiment.
“The White House would not allow Dr. Fauci to speak this morning,” he tweeted. “In fact, the White House press office would not allow anyone on the President’s task force to be interviewed. Quite remarkable that they would muzzle the health experts in the middle of a pandemic.”
Farrah responded less than an hour later, refuting Karl’s claims and arguing that Fauci had recently appeared on other programs hosted by NBC and PBS.
She also said just because Karl didn’t land the guest he wanted to, doesn’t mean the White House interfered in any way.
Farah added that Karl did not officially request any other members of the White House COVID-19 taskforce.
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“FALSE,” she wrote. “1) Dr. Fauci has been doing media all week – appearing on PBS Newshour & NBC’s Andrea Mitchell 3 days ago. 2) not getting your desired guest does not = the WH trying to ‘muzzle’ anyone. This narrative is tired. 3)@jonkarl didn’t request any other member of the task for
Karl replied to her rebuttal by posting a screenshot of an email he had sent to Farah requesting that Fauci, or another member of the team, be given clearance to appear.
“The truth matters,” he wrote back. “The requests for Dr. Fauci and the other members of the task force were made directly to you — multiple times. In this email, for example.”
Farah followed up by criticizing Karl for zoning in on one email of the “thousand” she receives daily and also highlighted several other recent interviews Fauci has done with competing networks.
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“Dr. Fauci has sure been on a lot of TV this week for someone being ‘muzzled’ by@WhiteHouse,” she added. “CNN new day, CNN Cuomo, MSNBC Andrea Mitchell, PBS Newshour, AP multimedia interview, CBS News Radio Cc @jonkarl.”