Stephen Miller, White House senior policy adviser, looks at his phone before a meeting at the White House in Washington on Feb. 2. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The Twitter accounts of the various Sunday news shows tell a nearly consistent tale about how the White House is looking to establish its message for the coming week:

Now have a look at the lineup for “State of the Union,” the CNN Sunday politics show anchored by Jake Tapper:

No Stephen Miller, apparently. A CNN representative tells the Erik Wemple Blog, “CNN asked for a guest for SOTU and the White House never responded to that request. Stephen Miller was offered as a guest to the other Sunday shows.” Strap in for what could well become a weekly drama. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence visited the other shows but bypassed “State of the Union,” as reported by the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone. Though the White House offered counselor Kellyanne Conway, CNN declined. It later declared that it had “serious questions about her credibility.”

Guests from Team Trump have been absent from “State of the Union” since Jan. 8.

The Erik Wemple Blog has asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer about this week’s circumstances; he said that he’d check into the matter.

Context for CNN’s Sunday omission has been all over the airwaves and social media for weeks and weeks. A month ago, a team of CNN reporters, including Tapper, published an exclusive under the headline, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” A large dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, reported CNN, had become briefing material at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Though CNN didn’t report the details of that dossier, BuzzFeed did. At a subsequent news conference, Trump — ever determined to trample detail in pursuit of bombast — lumped together CNN and BuzzFeed. “You are fake news,” Trump scolded CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

That was garbage: Despite efforts to undo the CNN story, it held. On Friday afternoon, the network broke another exclusive on the same topic, noting that U.S. investigators had found some corroborating information for certain details in that dossier — though nothing confirming the document’s more salacious aspects. When CNN asked Spicer for comment, the good soldier responded, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN’s fake news reporting.” He also sought to steer CNN’s focus toward the “success the president has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations.”

The episode exposed an interesting fake-news fissure among top Trumpsters. The president is stolid CNN-fake-newser; So, too, is Spicer, based on his statements to the network on Friday. Conway, however, told Tapper in an interview earlier this week on his program “The Lead”: “No, I don’t think CNN is fake news.” That’s some stunning disarray on Trump’s No. 1 issue — discrediting media organizations likely to unearth unflattering information about him.



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