Piers Morgan says his friend President Trump is 'failing the American people'

Piers Morgan, co-host of ITV's "Good Morning Britain" and former CNN host, says "the complacency that the American and British administrations showed in the first few weeks of this crisis has been extremely damaging to both countries' ability to deal with the coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 21, 2020 8:41 AM
Updated: Apr 21, 2020 8:41 AM

The coronavirus pandemic is "the biggest news story that any of us have every dealt with," Piers Morgan says, and it requires "a different approach from the traditional news anchor approach."

"Viewers want to see passion, they want to see anger, they want to see focus," Morgan said.

That's what the former CNN host has been bringing to his interviews on "Good Morning Britain" on the ITV network. Morgan, who has courted controversy his entire career, has earned applause for challenging British lawmakers and health officials about shortcomings when it comes to handling the coronavirus crisis.

Morgan applied the same "feet to the fire" approach while talking about his longtime friend President Trump on Sunday. He returned to CNN for an interview on "Reliable Sources" and said that Trump "is failing the American people" on almost every level.

Morgan was particularly critical of the president's performance at near-daily White House briefings, which he said he has watched "with mounting horror."

"He's turning these briefings into a self-aggrandizing, self-justifying, overly defensive, politically partisan, almost like a rally to him -- almost like what's more important is winning the election in November," Morgan said.

Then he addressed the president directly: "You will win the election in November if you get this right. If you stop making it about yourself and make it about the American people and show that you care about them over yourself, you will win. And, conversely, you will lose the election in November if you continue to make it about yourself, you continue playing silly politics, continue targeting Democrat governors because that suits you for your electoral purposes."

Piers & The President

Morgan and Trump have known each other for more than a decade. A former tabloid newspaper editor in Britain, Morgan was a judge on "America's Got Talent" when he was cast on "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2008. He hit it off with Trump and won the "Apprentice" title in the season finale.

Morgan has interviewed Trump repeatedly during the president's trips to the United Kingdom. He has defended his friend against criticism in numerous columns for The Daily Mail, but has also chastised the president for promoting vile rhetoric and lying to the American people.

One of Morgan's recent columns for the Mail was titled "America doesn't want a King Trump." He said he wrote it because he has grown "aghast at these press conferences," which are "typical Trump, but are so grating in a global pandemic crisis."

In an interview, Morgan said he applied a "critical friend" perspective to writing about Trump. And he noted, "he still follows me on Twitter."

Morgan has bruising words for British leaders, as well. Speaking on CNN Sunday, he said there are troubling parallels between the US and UK responses to the pandemic.

"You have two populist leaders in Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. And all the tricks that they used to become popular and to win elections and to lead their countries are now being tested in a very different way," Morgan said. "It's not about partisan politics anymore. It's about plain war crisis leadership."

"What I've noticed with both Boris Johnson and with Donald Trump is an apparent inability to segue into being war leaders," he added. "They're still playing the old games of party politics."

An unlikely "voice of reason"

On "Good Morning Britain," Morgan has had fiery exchanges with Johnson's health secretary Matt Hancock; care minister Helen Whately; and work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey.

With Coffey, Morgan spoke out about the government's "complacent attitude" and said "we spent weeks refusing to accept the severity of this crisis."

Each of the interviews garnered lots of attention -- with some viewers siding with Morgan and others saying he went too far. That's par for the course with the polarizing host.

A recent column in the Metro newspaper called him an unlikely "voice of reason" while noting that many viewers love to hate him. It was titled "You don't have to like Piers Morgan but he's absolutely right about coronavirus."

Morgan is far from the only host in the UK garnering praise for pushing government officials on their response to the crisis. But for some, he's a surprising figure filling what they believe is a void.

"Why is Piers Morgan doing the job of both the press *and* the Labour Party right now?" tweeted Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor in chief of the far left-wing news site The Canary.

But not everyone is convinced. Des Freedman, professor of media and communications at Goldsmith University, called Morgan "the nation's most controversial anchorman" who aims to provoke anyone who sits across from him.

"He excels in vitriol and outrage but like every stopped clock, he seems to be right twice a day (or maybe in his case, twice a week)," Freedman commented.

Professor Steven Barnett of the University of Westminster, who has advised parliament on various media issues, called Morgan "a narcissistic showman who thrives equally on notoriety and adulation."

"The fact that he's suddenly discovered what real journalism might be about should not distract from his overwhelming ambition to be the centre of attention," Barnett said.

Morgan isn't a stranger to that criticism. He delights in getting into scrapes on Twitter. On Sunday, he retweeted viewers who said they were surprised to be agreeing with his comments.

To a user who said "Trump has lost Piers Morgan," the host wrote, "He hasn't lost me. I just want him to listen & pivot."

"He has to put the country before himself," Morgan said on CNN. "He has to put Americans before electioneering. He has to remind himself every day, 'What can I do today to prevent more lives being killed?' Not 'How can I score more petty points.'"

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49063

Reported Deaths: 2732
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11760689
Lake5276246
Elkhart340255
Allen2835133
St. Joseph200169
Cass16429
Hamilton1608101
Hendricks1425100
Johnson1296118
Porter76738
Tippecanoe7359
Clark66844
Madison66764
Bartholomew59145
Vanderburgh5876
LaPorte58326
Howard58058
Kosciusko5624
Marshall5016
Noble48528
LaGrange4779
Jackson4733
Boone45443
Delaware45252
Hancock45236
Shelby43125
Floyd38444
Morgan32731
Monroe30928
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Grant29626
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Dubois2886
Henry28216
White26610
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Lawrence24825
Dearborn23823
Vigo2388
Warrick22729
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1862
Jennings17712
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14817
Wayne1436
Orange13623
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1247
Jasper1232
Wabash1142
Carroll1102
Fayette1037
Newton9910
Gibson982
Whitley975
Starke943
Randolph804
Huntington782
Jefferson762
Wells751
Fulton721
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Owen501
Adams491
Benton480
Posey450
Sullivan451
Spencer441
Brown421
Blackford392
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio180
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 60181

Reported Deaths: 2991
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10879439
Cuyahoga8277383
Hamilton6287206
Lucas2836303
Marion273639
Summit2241207
Pickaway220541
Montgomery220131
Mahoning1861239
Butler167447
Columbiana130960
Stark1156113
Lorain106468
Trumbull99774
Warren89525
Clark7809
Delaware61715
Fairfield60517
Tuscarawas58510
Belmont55522
Medina54332
Lake52920
Licking52012
Miami47531
Portage46159
Wood45251
Ashtabula43744
Clermont4317
Geauga41443
Wayne36552
Richland3515
Allen32841
Mercer2909
Greene2879
Darke25326
Erie25022
Holmes2453
Huron2282
Madison2029
Ottawa16024
Washington14020
Sandusky13814
Crawford1365
Putnam13215
Ross1323
Coshocton1302
Hardin12312
Morrow1181
Auglaize1074
Jefferson922
Union921
Monroe8917
Muskingum891
Hancock831
Preble801
Athens791
Hocking798
Guernsey763
Lawrence740
Williams722
Shelby704
Clinton680
Logan651
Fulton630
Ashland621
Carroll603
Wyandot605
Brown591
Scioto540
Defiance533
Knox531
Fayette480
Highland461
Champaign441
Van Wert420
Perry371
Seneca352
Henry320
Jackson260
Paulding260
Adams241
Pike240
Vinton222
Gallia201
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
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