Washington: President Donald Trump reinvigorated his feud with CNN, denouncing the cable news network as a poor representation of the U.S. abroad.
“@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
The president’s tweet Saturday is not the first time he’s spoken about CNN in terms of the international community. During his recent Asia trip, he tweeted that he was “forced to” watch “fake” CNN, claiming that he has not done so in months.
Trump favors Fox News, showering praise on some of its shows and journalists, and giving sit-down interviews with the network which he has long denied the other networks.
The feud between Donald Trump and CNN reached new heights on Monday, as the network came back swinging against the president’s latest attacks, including that CNN International misrepresents the U.S. to its global audience.
According to sources at the network, Trump’s tweet over the weekend criticizing CNN International produced extra frustration and exasperation because of the inherent risks of overseas reporting and the feeling that his message imperiled journalists working in countries hostile to a free press.
During his Monday broadcast, anchor Wolf Blitzer responded to the president’s latest claims of “fake news,” saying, “CNN and CNN International are not sponsored by any state, nor any autocrat, nor any political organization, and despite the constant criticism from the president, we are unwavering in our mission, free and independent as the press should be.”
Blitzer’s statement followed a nearly five-minute package of clips depicting CNN International journalists reporting from dangerous situations, including under gunfire in Libya and on a helicopter fleeing ISIS in Iraq.
The segment was in response to a tweet Trump sent Saturday: “.@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
The president also took to Twitter on Monday: “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
Because of the frequency of Trump’s attacks on CNN, the network does not always officially respond to his provocations. But on Saturday, its PR account tweeted: “It’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S to the world. That’s yours. Our job is to report the news. #FactsFirst.”
Explaining why the network used Twitter to fire back, a CNN source said, “Anything that jeopardizes the safety of our teams in the field is clearly something that we would feel very strongly about, and that’s why we reacted in that way.”
In response to Trump’s criticism of CNN International, reporter Christiane Amanpour posted on Twitter a picture of a late colleague. “If President Trump knew the facts,” she tweeted, “he would never have sent that tweet. Here is my (late) camerawoman Margaret Moth, who took a bullet in the face covering the facts and truth in Bosnia. #FactsFirst.”