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Trump escalates his war on the media

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In his latest jab at the media, President Donald Trump has tweeted a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit - his face obscured by the CNN logo - outside a wrestling ring.

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It was not immediately clear who produced the brief video, which appears to be a doctored version of Trump’s 2007 appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The 28-second clip was posted on Trump’s official Twitter account, with the message: “(hash)FraudNewsCNN (hash)FNN.”

The president in the past has branded the media as “the opposition party” and “the enemy of the American people.” He has taken particular aim at CNN, calling the network “fake news.”

Trump stayed on the attack later in the day, stating on Twitter that “the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!”

Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a “threat of physical violence against journalists.” He said Trump’s tweet was “beneath the office of the presidency.”

A White House aide insisted the tweet should not send a chill across the media landscape.

“I think that no one would perceive that as a threat,” homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said. “I hope they don’t. But I do think that he’s beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”

CNN accused Trump of engaging in “juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office.”

The video was posted several days ago by a Reddit user with the title, “Trump takes down fake news.” It was not clear whether that was where it originated or where Trump found it.

The president’s verbal shots against news outlets and individual members of the media have grown increasingly personal in recent days.

Trump has singled out MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski and CNN for some of his most biting criticism, and hardly is backing down in the face of widespread condemnation from the political class.

“The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not,” Trump told a supportive crowd Saturday in Washington.

A White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, told reporters last week that Trump “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.”

CNN, in its response to the video posted on Sunday, said it was “a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters.

– Reuters

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