An interview between CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy turned confrontational when Collins asked the candidate to answer whether he believed 9/11 was an “inside job.”
During the interview, Collins brought up an interview between Ramaswamy and The Atlantic’s John Hendrickson, in which the Republican presidential candidate speculated about the role of U.S. federal agents in the 9/11 terror attacks when speaking about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
When Collins mentioned Ramaswamy’s comments he replied “This is funny, the Atlantic is playing the same game as CNN.”
“What I said is on January 6, I do believe that there were many federal agents in the field and we deserve to know who they are,” continued Ramaswamy. “On 9/11, what I’ve said is that the government lied and this is incontrovertible evidence, Kaitlan. The government lied about Saudi Arabia’s involvement.”
“But are you telling me that your quote is wrong here?” Collins asked about his comments in The Atlantic.
“I am actually,” Ramaswamy replied.
“Because it says ‘how many federal agents were on the plane?’” Collins shot back.
“This is just lifting the curtain on how media works again,” said Ramaswamy.
The Republican presidential candidate continued, “ I asked that reporter to send the recording because it was on the record. He refused to do it, but we had a free-flowing conversation,” referencing his interview with The Atlantic.
Pressed on his 9/11 comments, Vivek Ramaswamy’s response: pic.twitter.com/hVEglgb5t3
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 22, 2023
“The truth is,” Ramaswamy said, “there are lies the government has told us about 9/11, but it’s not the ones that somebody put in my mouth. It’s the one that I articulated.”
“We the people deserve the truth,” Ramaswamy argued. “Despite the layers of distortion that exist in the media to prevent us from getting it.”
Collins noted that although Ramaswamy says he was “misquoted,” it could look as though he is “floating conspiracy theories.”
“Well, when you actually quote me,” Ramaswamy responded, “those are my words and I stand by them.”
The candidate then dove back into his belief that the U.S. government intentionally lied about 9/11 and Jan. 6.
“But the question was is 9/11 an inside job,” Collins pushed back. “And you didn’t say no.”
“Kaitlan, you know what’s really funny?” Ramaswamy replied sarcastically. “He said, do you believe everything that the government has told us? And my answer was, I do not believe everything the government has told us because they lied.”
“It’s not a game Vivek,” Collins challenged further. “It leaves the door open.”
“Kaitlan, we have a government that systematically lies,” Ramaswamy said.
“You think the government is lying about 9/11?” Collins questioned.
“I think the government has systematically and for a very long time, lied about 9/11,” Ramaswamy reiterated. “And I think I’m the only person who has told the truth of Saudi Arabia’s involvement.”
“But you don’t think that 9/11 was an inside job, correct?” asked the CNN anchor.
“Of course not,” replied Ramaswamy. “And I’ve never said it, but the media filters do create a lot of…”
“It’s not a media filter,” Collins interrupted, clearly exasperated. “You have to stop blaming the media. I am asking you about comments that you have made.”
“And I’m telling you that the comments I made, the ones you just played are indeed what I believe,” said Ramaswamy.
“But there is a difference in asking questions about Saudi Arabia’s involvement and the government’s involvement and then pushing this idea,” Collins said. “otherwise it feels like you’re toeing the line when it comes to conspiracy theories.”
The Republican candidate shot back that he is “ guilty as charged,” for not following the “establishment,” “approved script on these questions.”
“This time I’m going to be grounded in principles and conviction,” Ramaswamy said. “Not just vengeance and grievance.”
“Well, you say you are grounded in evidence and that is simply what we were asking for,” concluded Collins.
Ramaswamy will take the stage during the first Republican primary debate on Fox News on Wednesday.