Embarrassing technical gaffe interrupts CNN interview

On The Lead With Jake Tapper Wednesday, Tapper was in the middle of a contentious interview with White House Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, when the interview came to an abrupt end. Tapper and Deese had been discussing the shortage of baby formula in the U.S. following a plant in Michigan being forced to shut down after the deaths of two infants who had consumed the formula produced there. A whistleblower reportedly filed a complaint last fall, but the FDA didn’t act until December, and the plant wasn’t shut down until February. On top of that, President Biden wasn’t alerted to the seriousness of the issue until April. Tapper pressed Deese on the handling of the problem.

“I don’t need the FDA to investigate itself to come to the judgment that they did not act quickly enough,” Tapper said. “And on behalf of all the frustrated moms and dads and guardians out there, I hope you don’t either.”

As Deese delivered his response, the camera, much like the tension, came crashing down. Deese tried to catch it but couldn’t, and the feed went to black.

“Our camera fell down. Okay,” Tapper said, laughing. “Brian Deese, thank you so much.”

Video transcript

BRIAN DEESE: I think it is appropriate that they look at that timeline and understand what happened in that context. But I also think that we need to take very seriously that--

KYLIE MAR: On the lead with Jake Tapper Wednesday, Tapper's interview with White House director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese came to an abrupt end.

Tapper and Deese were discussing the shortage of baby formula in the US following a plant in Michigan being forced to shut down after the deaths of two infants who had consumed the formula it produced.

President Biden said on Wednesday that he wasn't alerted about the problem until April, months after the factory had been shut down.

And the interview began to get contentious while discussing the handling of the problem.

JAKE TAPPER: President Biden wasn't told about it until April. You don't think any of that should have been done more quickly or sooner? I don't need the FDA to investigate itself to come to the judgment that they did not act quickly enough. And on behalf of all the frustrated moms and dads and guardians out there, I hope you don't either.

KYLIE MAR: But as the camera came crashing down, so did the tension.

BRIAN DEESE: I also think that we need to take very seriously that-- whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, guys.

JAKE TAPPER: Our camera fell down. OK. Brian Deese, thank you so much.

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