#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

'We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his' - CNN responds to Trump wrestling tweet

The President tweeted a doctored video of a WWE bout in which the CNN logo was superimposed on someone’s head.

CNN HAS RESPONDED to a tweet from the US President mocking the news network, saying it was beneath the dignity of the office, and that he should start doing his job.

In his latest jab at the media, Donald Trump yesterday tweeted a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit — his face obscured by the CNN logo — outside a wrestling ring.

It was not immediately clear who produced the brief video, which appears to be a doctored version of Trump’s 2007 appearance on a World Wrestling Entertainment show.

The 28-second clip was posted on Trump’s official Twitter account, with the message: “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN.”

The president in the past has branded the media as “the opposition party” and “the enemy of the American people”.

He has taken particular aim at CNN, calling the network “fake news”.

Trump stayed on the attack later in the day, stating on Twitter that “the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!”

5 Source: Donald Trump

Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a “threat of physical violence against journalists”. He said Trump’s tweet was “beneath the office of the presidency”.

A White House aide insisted the tweet should not send a chill across the media landscape.

“I think that no one would perceive that as a threat,” homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said.

I hope they don’t. But I do think that he’s beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.

CNN accused Trump of engaging in “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office”.

White House officials travelling with Trump during his weekend stay at his New Jersey golf club did not immediately respond to questions about who made the video or about any message the president might have intended to send.

The video appeared to be a doctored version of an appearance Trump made on a WWE show called ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ in 2007, in which Trump appears to attack wrestling CEO Vince McMahon.

McMahon’s wife, Linda, who founded and built the company with her husband, now heads the Small Business Administration for Trump and was a generous benefactor to his campaign.

The video was posted several days ago by a Reddit user with the title, “Trump takes down fake news”.

It was not clear whether that was where it originated or where Trump found it. Still, the user wrote yesterday about being “honoured” Trump had tweeted the video.

The user who posted the video has a history of posts using anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language.

A White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, told reporters last week that Trump “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence”.

CNN, in its response to the video posted Sunday, said it was “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”.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

CNN’s statement noted the weighty list of issues before Trump — an overseas trip this week that includes a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the stalled health care bill, the threat from North Korea. Instead of focusing on those matters, CNN said, “he is involved in juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his”.

Republican officials acknowledged yesterday that Trump’s Twitter feed distracts from work like health care.

“We in Washington, we in the country, cannot be focused on tweets,” said Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, adding that “I get so frustrated when we get focused on tweets”.

Governor John Kasich of Ohio said he hoped Trump’s family would talk to him and say, “Knock it off”.

“The coarseness doesn’t help anybody,” he said.

Bossert and Kasich appeared on ABC’s This Week. Cassidy was on NBC’s Meet the Press.

- Reporting by Associated Press. Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy. 

Read: Sex, lies and videotape: Hulk Hogan, Donald Trump and freedom of the press >

Read: Donald Trump posts doctored video of himself ‘beating up CNN’ >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

Read next: