The 28-second video was altered with the CNN logo superimposed over Trump’s victim. In Trump’s tweet, he used the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN. In another tweet on Saturday, Trump suggested that he would use those labels as a way to lash out at the network’s critical reporting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
A CNN spokesperson released a statement in response: “It 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 involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
CNN PR’s Twitter account also replied to Trump’s tweet by quoting Huckabee Sanders as saying, “The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.”
"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
Trump’s tweet elicited immediate reaction on Twitter, including some who contend that it may stir violence against media outlets.
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
America, stand against this. Trump is going to end up getting a media person killed w/this incitement to violence. Maybe then, he'll stop. https://t.co/IGM0fThtt5
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 2, 2017
Isn't pro wrestling fake?
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 2, 2017
Trump has defended his tweeting as “modern day presidential,” and a way to reach his supporters without a media filter.
The original footage was shot at WrestleMania 23 in April 2007. The man in the original video whose face was replaced with a CNN logo is WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
Although the video’s creator is not credited, and it is unclear how Trump received the edited footage, CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out on Twitter that it surfaced on Reddit four days earlier.
The anti-CNN video Trump tweeted showed up on a Reddit thread 4 days ago… https://t.co/0LiYgKvjdf
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 2, 2017
This latest video follows several days when Trump has been especially aggressive on social media regarding his disdain for certain members of the media. On Thursday, the president lashed out at “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough (“Psycho Joe”) and Mika Brzezinski (“Low I.Q. Crazy Mika”), which sparked significant backlash and a series of controversies that have continued to make headlines through the weekend.