As President Donald Trump continues to battle with the press, leaked audio from a fundraiser earlier this week hears him call CNN staffers “horrible human beings,” and threatens the prospect of suing the organization.
The Intercept leaked the audio from Trump’s first re-election fundraiser on Wednesday, which reportedly charged attendees $35,000 for a ticket. The event was closed the press, even though the media was told just hours before that they would be allowed to cover, according to CNN.
Trump zeroed in on Van Jones especially, referencing a video in which the popular CNN commentator called the story of collusion between Trump and Russia a “nothing burger” (Jones later clarified that he was “pushing my fellow Democrats to deal with bread and butter issues — and not just hope and believe Trump will be impeached and gone tomorrow”).
“Van Jones — you see this man?” Trump said. “These are really dishonest people. Should I sue them? I mean, they’re phonies. Jeff Zucker, I hear he’s going to resign at some point pretty soon. I mean, these are horrible human beings.”
“It’s a shame what they’ve done to the name CNN,” he went on. “But as far as I’m concerned, I love it. If anybody’s a lawyer in the house and thinks I have a good lawsuit — I feel like we do. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
It’s only Trump’s latest attack on CNN in the wake of news that three of the new organization’s journalists resigned over a retracted story about his ties with Russia. Earlier in the week, he tweeted, “Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!” CNN Communications later corrected him on Twitter, replying that the network just posted its most-watched second quarter in history.
Listen to the audio from the fundraiser below.