CNN is hitting back at President Donald Trump Sunday after the president ignited controversy early in the morning when he tweeted a video of himself appearing to take down CNN in a wrestling match.
The video superimposed the CNN logo over the face of a WWE fighter who Trump took down when he appeared and performed at a WrestleMania event in 2007. The video not only shows Trump taking the CNN logo down, but also beating it up.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
At the end of the video the letters “FNN” show up on the screen in the same format as CNN’s logo. Under the letters, it says “fraud news network.”
The tweet comes as Trump has ramped up his attacks on the media in recent days via his Twitter account. Trump for years has maintained that he believes the mainstream media is dishonest, but his rhetoric against them has sailed to new levels since he became president.
On Saturday he said that CNN produces “garbage journalism.” CNN is the news outlet that arguably takes the brunt of Trump’s media hatred. Over the weekend, he also targeted MSNBC hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, even labeling Brzezinski “dumb as a rock Mika.”
But on Sunday, many claimed Trump’s video is a threat of violence toward the media. CNN political commentator Ana Navaro claimed that Trump’s rhetoric against the media “is going to get somebody killed in the media.”
CNN, in a statement following Trump’s tweet, doubled down on Navaro’s disgust.
Ot is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.
The statement referred to remarks White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made last weeks when she told the assembled White House press corps that Trump has never promoted or incited violence against the media.
“The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary,” Huckabee Sanders said last Thursday.
CNN even noted Huckabee Sanders’ comments in a direct reply to Trump’s controversial tweet:
"The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary." – @SHSanders45 6/29/17
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) July 2, 2017
On Saturday, Trump also said that he is considering changing his nickname for CNN from “fake news” to “fraud news.”
“I am thinking about changing the name #FakeNews CNN to #FraudNewsCNN!” Trump tweeted.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
Others voiced their displeasure with Trump’s tweet:
Wow. This is sick. This is disturbing. This is pathological. This is violent. This is reckless. This is authoritarian. https://t.co/KnD7FTPrn1
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) July 2, 2017
This is from the President advocating violence against media. GOP leaders it is time you put country over party. Enough. https://t.co/IVPxgWqfTW
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) July 2, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 2, 2017
If someone hurts or injures or worse to a reporter, Trump is 100% at fault. There is no way around it. https://t.co/T5SDoPtM63
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) July 2, 2017
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) July 2, 2017
can't wait for the inevitable "how did this happen?" takes when a journalist considered unfriendly to trump is murdered
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 2, 2017
If a CNN reporter made a video of themselves tackling Trump, they'd be fired. Because they're held to a higher standard of accountability. https://t.co/dg2ZVal5Kp
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) July 2, 2017
Some say Trump's pro wrestling tweet violated Twitter's terms of service. Much of what he's doing violates the country's terms of service.
— Mike Levin (@MikeLevinCA) July 2, 2017