The jabs at CNN continued during President Donald Trump’s trip to Warsaw, Poland. During a press conference on Thursday with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump addressed the fallout from the bodyslam meme he posted to Twitter and the network’s response.
“I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them, as you know now they have some pretty serious problems,” he said). “They have been fake news for a long time. They’ve been covering me in a very dishonest way.”
After taking a shot at NBC News as well (“NBC is equally as bad, despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice, but they forgot that”), he added, “CNN has really taken it too seriously, and I think they have really hurt themselves very badly. Very, very badly. What we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free — but honest –press. We want to see a fair press. I think it’s a very important thing. We don’t want fake news. And by the way, not everybody is fake news. But we don’t want fake news. Bad thing, very bad for our country.”
POTUS incited an internet war against CNN when he posted a GIF of himself body-slamming and punching the network’s logo on Sunday (the actual video came from his Wrestlemania 23 appearance in 2007). A Reddit user by the name of HanA–holeSolo (partially redacted for an expletive) took credit for the GIF, but later released an apology as CNN tracked the user down, and his history of racist and anti-Semitic comments were unearthed.
Then began the social campaign #CNNBlackmail. The network issued a statement on Wednesday denying such accusations and clarified the age of the person behind HanA–holeSolo. Donald Trump Jr. was among those spreading the claim that he was 15 years old.
“CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety. Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false,” it read. “The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user. In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user’s identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.”