President Donald Trump called CNN “fake news” and slammed NBC during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
A major topic at the press conference was the fallout from an interview that Trump gave to The Sun, a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., in which he criticized the way that May handled negotiations for the British exit from the European Union. In the interview, Trump said he advised her, but “she didn’t listen to me.” He suggested that a trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. could be at stake.
At one moment in the press conference on Friday, CNN’s Jim Acosta attempted to ask Trump a question. “CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN.” He then called on Fox News’ John Roberts, saying, “Let’s go to a real network.” Roberts then asked his question.
Trump also called out NBC. After Kristen Welker asked him whether he was giving Russian President Vladimir Putin the “upper hand,” given Trump’s criticisms of NATO, he said, “You see, that is such dishonest reporting. Of course, it happens to be NBC, which is possibly worse than CNN.” He insisted that his administration has been “very tough” on Russia.
Trump claimed that he didn’t criticize May in his interview with The Sun, and he even called the report “fake news.” The interview, however, was recorded.
At the press conference, he said he has “a lot of respect for the prime minister” and that whatever she does with Brexit is “OK with me.”
Margaret Talev, the president of the White House Correspondents Association, said in a statement after the press conference that “asking smart, tough questions, whether in a presidential press conference or interview, is central to the role a free press plays in a healthy republic.
“Given that the president took a question from a CNN reporter in his NATO news conference just a day earlier, maybe he was letting off steam today rather than expressing an official stance toward a news organization’s ability to report, but saying a news organization isn’t real doesn’t change the facts and won’t stop us from doing our jobs. We appreciate The Sun for posting the entire audio of their interview so that everyone can hear the president’s remarks for themselves.”