By Mike Murphy
President Donald Trump continued his weeklong Twitter tirade against the media Sunday, tweeting a doctored pro wrestling video showing Trump body slamming an opponent who has the CNN logo superimposed over their head.
It was the latest in a series of hostile tweets over the past week attacking what Trump called the “fake and fraudulent news media,” including the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN, which on Saturday he called “FraudNewsCNN.”
In a statement Sunday, CNN said it was a “sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”
‘We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.’
“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,” CNN said.
The network also called out the White House’s deputy press secretary, who said earlier this week that “the president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.”
“Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied,” CNN said.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joined the fray. “We condemn the president’s threat of physical violence against journalists,” the advocacy group said in a statement.
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, White House homeland security adviser Thomas Bossert denied Trump’s tweet was a threat. “No one would perceive that as a threat,” he said. “I’m proud of the president for developing a Twitter and a social-media platform where he can talk directly to the American people.”
Encouraging violence toward journalists, though, is no joke. Just last month, Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to assaulting a reporter a day before a special election in May.
CNN commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro told ABC News that Trump was inciting violence. “He is going to get somebody killed in the media,” she said.
Congressional Democrats also condemned Trump’s tweet, with Rep. Ted Lieu, from Southern California, calling it “beyond unacceptable.”
Before the president got hold of the video and tweeted it out to his millions of followers, a Reddit user by the name of “HanAssholeSolo” posted it on the popular subreddit “The_Donald,” an unruly corner of the internet that bills itself as “the forum of choice for The President of the United States.” Han celebrated Trump’s tweet by saying, “Wow!! I never expected my meme to be retweeted by the God Emporer himself!!!”
Prior to achieving virtual fame on “The_Donald,” the Han screen personality could be found posting messages like “It’s all part of United’s Remove A N**ger Over The Ocean program” under an image of a black child on a plane. He also wrote of stabbing Muslims in Paris with “punch blades” and created an image with the Star of David beside adorning a portrait of CNN hosts.