Fox News’ Shepard Smith is backing up rival CNN after President-elect Donald Trump’s explosive news conference Wednesday, saying the news organization’s journalists shouldn’t be “subjected to belittling or delegitimizing.”
“President-elect Trump today told CNN’s Jim Acosta that his organization amounts to fake news,” the anchor said Wednesday after Trump’s news conference in New York City, where the Republican publicly shamed CNN for reporting that a classified report given to President Barack Obama and Trump included unverified allegations that Russian agents gathered compromising personal and financial information about the president-elect.
“CNN’s exclusive reporting on the Russian matter was separate and distinctly different from the document dump executed by an online news property,” Smith continued, addressing BuzzFeed’s publication of a dossier allegedly written by an unnamed former British intelligence operative. “Though we at Fox News cannot confirm CNN’s report, it is our observation that its correspondence followed journalistic standards, and that neither they nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling or delegitimizing by the President-elect of the United States.”
Upset by CNN’s report, Trump refused to allow reporter Jim Acosta to ask a question during Wednesday’s conference. “Your organization’s terrible,” Trump said in the unprecedented exchange.
“Don’t be rude,” Trump said as Acosta attempted to ask a question. “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question… You are fake news.”
Acosta later claimed via Twitter that Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, “threatened to throw me out of that news conference if I asked another question.”
CNN said the news organization’s “decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this. They are using Buzzfeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations.”
The statement also invites Trump’s organization to provide evidence that CNN published fake news: “Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”
Watch video of Smith’s address on Fox News above.