'Politics Covered as Entertainment': Rubio Calls Out CNN Doctor's Claim That Trump Has Heart Disease
Sen. Marco Rubio lamented the "hyperbolic" coverage of the Trump administration by many in the mainstream media, specifically pointing to claims - including by Dr. Sanjay Gupta - that the president has heart disease.
Speaking on CNN Tuesday after White House physician Ronny Jackson's press conference on Trump's recent physical and cognitive examinations, the network's chief medical correspondent pointed to Trump's weight and high cholesterol.
"This is math. This is based on the numbers that Dr. Jackson provided. The president has heart disease," said Gupta, who did not examine Trump.
Gupta, after being roundly criticized for the bold assertion, later wrote on CNN that he was speaking of a "common form of heart disease" which can be easily addressed through dietary changes, exercise and cholesterol-lowering medication.
In Honduras yesterday and in Mexico today. Thought I’d ask local doctors if they could confirm Sanjay Gupta’s CNN tabloid TV diagnosis of @realDonaldTrump . Finally found one who did. She also reads palms and does foot massage.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) January 18, 2018
Sanjay Gupta makes a last minute submission for the Fake News Awards https://t.co/zvGBGdKFlv
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) January 17, 2018
Other news outlets filed similar reports, with the New York Times saying "outside experts" believe the examination revealed serious heart concerns.
In an interview on "America's Newsroom" Thursday, Sen. Rubio (R-Fla.) said the claims are in line with other "overreactions and exaggerations" and part of a pattern by the media to cover politics as "entertainment."
"Look at the stuff about the physical. You have people on the air diagnosing heart disease who have never even met the president, much less are in any position to diagnose him. It's just being covered as entertainment. There's a lot of hyperbole out there," said Rubio.
Rubio declined to comment on his Republican colleague Jeff Flake's scathing speech on the Senate floor in which he compared Trump's attacks on the media to Joseph Stalin.
The former presidential candidate said the United States has a free press and there is "great journalism" being done, specifically pointing to a Miami Herald series about gold being used to launder money for drug dealers in Latin America.
Watch the full conversation above.