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July 24, 2017

'Very fake news': Jake Tapper's Philly past questioned by Breitbart News

An ongoing war between the Donald Trump-aligned wing of the conservative press and the mainstream media made a stop in Philadelphia on Sunday.

CNN host Jake Tapper, who was born in New York City but moved to Philadelphia's Queen Village as a kid, got into a back-and-forth on "State of the Union" with incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

During an exchange about his own and President Trump's communication styles, Scaramucci brought up his blue-collar roots in Long Island, suggesting he aims to speak to the people who surrounded him there and who embrace the president's message.

"I grew up in a very similar neighborhood in Philadelphia," Tapper intervened, implying that his upbringing shared similarities with Scaramucci's and exposed him to the same type of community.

The interaction served as the launch point for a Breitbart News investigation that cast doubt on Tapper's history in Philadelphia. The story disparagingly paints him as a rich kid buoyed by "Ivy League puffery," despite claims of a middle-class background.

Tapper, when he was growing up, went to a private elite high school with exorbitant tuition rates. The Akiba Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His father was a graduate of Harvard Medical School, and a wealthy pediatrician. Before Harvard, Tapper’s father went to Dartmouth—another Ivy League school that Tapper would eventually attend.

Breitbart went so far as to contact Tapper to ask him how much his family paid for him to attend Akiba. Rather than provide answers directly to Breitbart, Tapper took to Twitter to respond. 

The dust-up comes a month after three CNN journalists resigned in the wake of a retracted story that claimed Scaramucci, a member of Trump's transition team, met with the chief executive of a $10 billion Russian investment fund. Details in the report, including the nature of a Senate investigation and the investment fund's connection to Russian bank under U.S. sanctions, were insufficiently corroborated. 

Scaramucci, prior to accepting his current position, accepted CNN's apology.