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May 17, 2018

AS ALWAYS, IT’S WHATEVER THE NARRATIVE REQUIRES AT THE MOMENT: Which is it CNN? Pence is Trump’s top rival or the ‘Kandinsky of kissing up.’

To understand the frustration the White House has with news coverage, officials are pointing to CNN’s whipsawed description of Vice President Mike Pence’s relationship with President Trump over a 24-hour period this week.

CNN Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza, who on Tuesday took down a tweet showing Trump in the crosshairs of a rifle scope, in two successive columns wrote first that Pence was plotting for control of the GOP and angering Trump, then that Pence was Trump’s biggest fan, never missing a chance for “kissing up.”

In his “The Point,” the analyst highlighted a Monday New York Times report on Pence’s midterm election operation. “a) Vice President Mike Pence and his advisers are operating as a sort of de facto political unit within the White House and b) allies of President Donald Trump are none too happy about that fact,” said the column.

Pence is described as a power-grabbing rival. “The Point: Politics abhors a vacuum. Trump’s lack of ties to the GOP campaign establishment and his seeming disinterest in anyone’s politics other than his own create an opening for Pence. The question is whether he can take advantage without seeming like he is taking advantage,” wrote Cillizza.

Then, in the very next “The Point,” was this headline: “Mike Pence’s Mount Rushmore: Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.”

That column describes Pence as an embarrassing suck up.

This is CNN.