President Donald Trump tweeted a roughly edited video of himself Sunday morning tackling and repeatedly punching a figure with the CNN logo over its face in his latest attack against the mainstream news media.
NBC reported the source for the video Trump tweeted is a clip from 2007 showing Trump body-slamming World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) owner Vince McMahon.
In the edited version of the video, Trump tackles and beats up the CNN figure before getting up and walking away.
“#FraudNewsCNN #FNN,” Trump said in the tweet.
Watch the video:
CNN fired back, saying in a statement that it was “a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”
It’s in keeping with Trump’s broad theme of the media as “fake” and his more narrowly focused message of late that CNN is the worst of the bunch. CNN continued.
The executive editor of The New York Times, Dean Baquet, also issued a statement Sunday afternoon, calling the president’s post “unseemly.”
“I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs, and encourage such anger at the media,” Baquet said in the statement.
But in truth, Trump didn’t “attack” anyone. The video only included a CNN logo.
Trump was merely responding to the false accusations against him that were made by CNN.
While the origin of the edited version of the WWE clip was unclear, it was posted on a pro-Trump Reddit thread four days ago.
Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, defended the president’s tweet on ABC’s “This Week” program Sunday morning, saying “no one would perceive that as a threat” and that he had a “right to respond” to his critics.
“I’m pretty proud of the president for developing a Twitter and social media platform where he can talk directly to the American people,” he said.
“In fact, he’s the most genuine president and the most non-politician president we’ve seen in my lifetime.”
When Bossert, who also worked in the George W. Bush administration, was asked if he saw Trump’s message as a threat against the media, he said, “I think that no one would perceive that as a threat.
I hope they don’t. I do think that he is beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”