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CNN host compares Trump to Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin over harsh media criticisms, tweets

CNN host Brian Stelter compared Trump to recent world dictators after his controversial CNN take down tweet. (Image via Twitter @CNNPolitics screenshot)

President Donald Trump created quite a bit of controversy Sunday when he chose to tweet a video of himself literally taking down CNN.

The video was from a WrestleMania appearance he made in 2007, but what recently created by a Reddit user who superimposed the CNN logo onto one of the WWE fighters who Trump "took down" at the time.

The controversial tweet has led many to accuse Trump and his White House of inciting violence against the press. CNN political commentator Ana Navarro even said Trump's rhetoric against the media will lead to a media member's death. Other, still, have called for Trump's impeachment over the tweet.

Then there's CNN host Brian Stelter, who compared Trump to some of the world's fiercest recent dictators on his Sunday show, "Reliable Sources," over Trump's harsh media criticisms, including comments he made Saturday evening.

"I think we should be clear about the Trump strategy," Stetler began. "Let's think about this: He's trying to build up outlets that promote him, while trying to tear down outlets that dare to challenge him. He's promoting his friends in the media, talking with friendly interviewers who won't ask him tough questions, while he's demeaning voices who criticize him."

"Now don't take my word for it, take his," the CNN host added. "At a private fundraiser this week, Trump asked the donors if he should sue CNN. And then he called CNN staffers 'horrible human beings.' And on Saturday he continued his campaign against the broader media."

"Is this president trying to impersonate [former Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez, [Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin?" Stetler continued. "Because this is exactly the kind of language that leaders use when they are trying to undermine the press."

Stetler finished his diatribe against Trump by calling on Republican leaders to rebuke Trump's apparent attacks on the media.

"Where's Paul Ryan? Where's Mitch McConnell? Are GOP leaders going to speak up about these attacks against the media? Like I said: right now it's CNN. Earlier it was the Washington Post and the New York Times — it's been other networks, it's been other outlets," he said.

"This president continues to demean the media. Are GOP leaders going to continue to support him?" Stelter concluded.

During his show on Sunday, Stelter also accused Trump of violating Twitter's terms-of-service with his controversial tweet, alleging that it is "hateful conduct."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify the fact that Stelter's comments were directed at Trump's larger criticisms of the media, not just Sunday's controversial tweet.

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