TRUMP slams CNN, tweets wrestling video.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Cather­ine Lucey of The As­so­ci­ated Press; and by Michael M. Gryn­baum and Noah Wei­land of The New York Times.

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Pres­i­dent Donald Trump on Sun­day posted a short video to his Twit­ter ac­count in which he is por­trayed wrestling and punch­ing a man in a busi­ness suit whose head has been re­placed by the logo for CNN.

The brief video 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: “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN.”

Trump later stated on Twit­ter, us­ing cap­i­tal let­ters for em­pha­sis, 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 dis­agreed.

“I think that no one would per­ceive that as a threat,” home­land se­cu­rity ad­viser Tom Bossert said on ABC’s This Week. “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 be­hav­ior far be­low the dig­nity of his of­fice.”

White House of­fi­cials trav­el­ing with Trump dur­ing his week­end stay at his New Jer­sey golf club did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to ques­tions about who made the video or about any mes­sage the pres­i­dent might have in­tended to send.

The video ap­peared to be a doc­tored ver­sion of an ap­pear­ance Trump made on a World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment Inc. match called “Bat­tle of the Bil­lion­aires” in 2007, in which Trump ap­pears to at­tack WWE Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer 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 bene­fac­tor to his cam­paign.

A ver­sion of the video ap­peared last week on a Trump-ded­i­cated page on the mes­sage board site Red­dit, a pop­u­lar meet­ing ground for some of the pres­i­dent’s most fer­vent sup­port­ers. The video was posted by a Red­dit user with the ti­tle, “Trump takes down fake news.” It was not clear whether that was where the video orig­i­nated or where Trump found it.

Trump’s fans on Red­dit were ex­u­ber­ant about what they viewed as val­i­da­tion from the coun­try’s most pow­er­ful man.

“I love this,” wrote a user iden­ti­fied as Amer­i­can—Cru­sader. “You know he saw it, chuck­led, and knew he could con­trol the me­dia nar­ra­tive for days by hit­ting the ‘post’ but­ton. So he did.”

The user who first posted the video wrote Sun­day about be­ing “hon­ored” Trump had tweeted the video.

CNN, in its re­sponse to the video posted Sun­day, said it was “a sad day when the pres­i­dent of the United States en­cour­ages vi­o­lence against re­porters. Clearly, Sarah Huck­abee San­ders lied when she said the pres­i­dent had never done so.”

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

The net­work said in its state­ment that the pres­i­dent, “in­stead of pre­par­ing for his over­seas trip, his first meet­ing with Vladimir Putin, deal­ing with North Korea and work­ing on his health care bill, he is in­volved in ju­ve­nile be­hav­ior far be­low the dig­nity of his of­fice. We will keep do­ing our jobs. He should start do­ing his.”

Repub­li­can of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edged Sun­day that Trump’s Twit­ter feed dis­tracts from work like health care.

“We in Wash­ing­ton, we in the coun­try, can­not be fo­cused on tweets,” said Sen. Bill Cas­sidy, R-La., on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I get so frus­trated when we get fo­cused on tweets.”

But some White House aides said pri­vately on Sun­day that the pres­i­dent was be­ing held to a dou­ble stan­dard. They ar­gued that Trump’s video was akin to a re­cent ex­change on MSNBC in which the host, Chris Matthews, was dis­cussing Trump’s son-in­law, Jared Kush­ner. Matthews jok­ingly praised the Ital­ian dic­ta­tor Ben­ito Mus­solini for or­der­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of his son-in-law.

More in­for­ma­tion on the Web See Trump’s CNN tweet arkansason­ 7217trumptweet

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