ABC News Chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl is already thinking about a possible Trump 2024 race.
The author of “Betrayal” told Businesses that reporting on another Trump campaign would be challenging.
“You cover someone running in a system who is trying to undermine that particular system,” he said.
Journalists preparing for the 2024 presidential election are already beginning to prepare opportunity for another Trump campaign – a prospect that may pose the “biggest challenge campaign reporters have ever faced,” according to ABC News chief Washington correspondent and author Jonathan Karl.
The longtime reporter and author of “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show“gave his thoughts on the hypothetical in a series of media interviews earlier this month while promoting his new book, which describes the final year of Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency.
In a longer interview with Deadline and in an on-air performance with CNN’s Brian Stelter, Karl discussed the challenges of reporting responsibly on Trump, whom he called “essentially an anti-democratic candidate.”
“How do you cover a candidate who is both up against who the democratic candidate is, but also up against the very democratic system that makes all this possible?” Karl posed during the Deadline interview.
The media fought to cover Trump an unprecedented form of American leadership – during both his tenure and presidency. Meanwhile, Trump himself provoked indignation towards and skepticism towards journalists and news media to discredit negative stories about themselves.
Throughout his time in office, Trump had, on average, more lies a day, and increased its rhetoric and misinformation, especially around the 2020 election, until it culminated in the deadly January 6 Capitol attack.
“I think it’s hugely challenging because … he’s just saying things that are not true, that’s designed to misinform, that’s designed to erode the credibility and belief of our electoral system,” Karl told Deadline. “And it’s actually dangerous.”
“So how do you cover a debate? How do you cover a speech? How do you sit down for a long-term interview with him as a candidate?” he added.
Karl, who served as chief correspondent at the White House for ABC News from December 2012 until the end of the Trump administration, made similar comments during his appearance on CNN earlier this week.
“You cover someone running in a system who’s trying to undermine that particular system,” he told CNN’s Stelter. “Someone who is going to lie constantly.”
“He’s engrossed and obsessed by 2020, trying to convince the world that the election was somehow corrupt, that it was fraught with fraud, that he actually won it,” he continued. “As journalists, we can not be a channel for that lie.”
Trump made headlines over the weekend when he once again indicated a possible race in 2024.
“I think if I run, I’ll get it,” he told a Fox Business appearance. “Look, I have 94, 95%, even in the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), I had a 98% approval rating. So if I decide to run, I get it very easily.”
“Most people have said that if I run, they will not run against me, so I think that’s good,” he added.
But Karl is in doubt as to whether that one-time president will really run for the top seat once again.
“I think he’s going to make us think he’s posing because it keeps him relevant, makes him create awareness for himself,” Karl told CNN. “But I’m not sure he really wants to do it again.”
“Despite all his delusions about 2020, the last thing he really wants to do is lose again,” he added.
A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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