Trump body-slams, punches CNN in latest tweet

President Donald Trump insists CNN has “been exposed” for peddling “fake news” and “garbage journalism.” (Reuters)

President Donald Trump insists CNN has “been exposed” for peddling “fake news” and “garbage journalism.” (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump’s longstanding feud with the media escalated Sunday, after the former businessman tweeted a doctored video of himself body-slamming and repeatedly punching an individual masked by a superimposed image of CNN’s logo.

The footage is a short, modified clip of Trump’s cameo role at WWE WrestleMania in 2007.

This newest tweet follows a week of particularly contentious back-and-forths between the president and multiple US-based media outlets.

On Thursday, Trump took to social media to attack the intelligence, mental state, and physical appearance of a female news anchor, Mika Brzezinski. He reiterated his statements early Saturday morning alongside a second post that asserted CNN had “been exposed” for peddling “fake news” and “garbage journalism.”

Trump continued to tweet Saturday evening, launching three separate broadsides against “the fake and fraudulent news media” and ostensibly issuing a rebuttal to critics of his Twitter habits: “My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”

Television pundits and lawmakers across the political spectrum have long called for the real estate tycoon to curb his more inflammatory online behaviour. However, Sunday’s doctored video arguably constitutes a new benchmark for the President – as White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders asserted just last Thursday that Trump has never “promoted or encouraged violence.”

In response to the video, CNN’s Communications team issued a statement reading: “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 instead involved in juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

In a press briefing in early June, spokesperson Sean Spicer affirmed President Trump’s tweets constitute official White House statements. Administration officials have not yet responded to requests for comment.

Peter Rothpletz

Peter Rothpletz

Peter Rothpletz is an undergraduate at Yale University, where he serves as a special correspondent for a handful of publications on campus and the M&G Read more from Peter Rothpletz

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