Trump’s mock video sparks crit­i­cism

Video shows Trump pum­mel­ing a man with CNN face

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump crowned his week­end rage against the news me­dia with a mock video that shows him pum­mel­ing a man in a busi­ness suit - his face ob­scured by the CNN logo - out­side a wrestling ring. 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 Sun­day morn­ing, with the mes­sage: “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN.”

Trump, who has branded the me­dia as the “op­po­si­tion party” and CNN as “fake news,” 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!” Yes­ter­day, he continued the at­tacks on Twit­ter: “At some point the Fake News will be forced to dis­cuss our great jobs num­bers, strong econ­omy, success with ISIS, the bor­der & so much else!” Bruce Brown, 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.” The White House strat­egy has been to pull no punches when it comes to ad­dress­ing its crit­ics. On Mon­day, Trump coun­selor Kellyanne Con­way on Twit­ter ac­cused Demo­cratic Rep Ted Lieu of talk­ing “non­sense” when the Cal­i­for­nia law­maker tweeted to Con­way that the me­dia’s role “is not to be ‘pa­tri­otic.’ It is to tell the truth.”

Con­way tweeted that the “role of the me­dia has been to re­tract false sto­ries & fire liars. ‘Truth’ = pa­tri­otic vets died so you can talk non­sense.” White House of­fi­cials trav­el­ing with Trump dur­ing his week­end stay at his New Jersey golf club did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to ques­tions about the video. It ap­peared to be a doc­tored ver­sion of an ap­pear­ance Trump made on a World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment Inc. show called “Bat­tle of the Bil­lion­aires” in 2007, in which Trump ap­pears to at­tack WWE CEO Vince McMa­hon. McMa­hon’s wife, Linda, who founded and built the com­pany with her hus­band, now heads the Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion for Trump and was a donor to his cam­paign.

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 how Trump found it. Still, the user wrote Sun­day about be­ing “hon­ored” Trump had tweeted the video. The user who posted the video has a his­tory of posts us­ing anti-Mus­lim and anti-im­mi­grant lan­guage. The pres­i­dent’s ver­bal shots against news out­lets and in­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the me­dia have grown in­creas­ingly per­sonal in re­cent days even as law­mak­ers in both par­ties say the in­sults only threaten to un­der­mine his po­lit­i­cal agenda. CNN ac­cused Trump of en­gag­ing in “ju­ve­nile be­hav­ior far be­low the dig­nity of his of­fice.”— AP

NEW YORK: Copies of the New York Post with an il­lus­tra­tion of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as a pro­fes­sional wrestler on the front page are dis­played at a news­stand in New York City yes­ter­day. — AP

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