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Trump Tweets a Video of Him Wrestling ‘CNN’ to the Ground 

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By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
© 2017 New York Times News Service

President Donald Trump posted a short video to his Twitter account on Sunday in which he is portrayed wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN

The video, about 28 seconds long, appears to be an edited clip from a years-old appearance by Trump in WrestleMania, an annual professional wrestling event. The clip ends with an on-screen restyling of the CNN logo as “FNN: Fraud News Network.”

In a speech Saturday in Washington, Trump referred to CNN as “garbage journalism” and said: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”

The wrestling video, which was also posted to the official @POTUS Twitter account, stirred criticism, disbelief and dumbfoundedness. Some journalists denounced its portrayal of violence as dangerous, saying it could incite attacks or threats against media employees.

“I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs, and encourage such anger at the media,” said Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times.

The administration did not respond to a request for comment. Trump’s homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, defended the video when he viewed it for the first time during a broadcast interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC News. “No one would perceive that as a threat,” Bossert said. “I hope they don’t.”

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.”

On Sunday, CNN issued its response.

“It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” the network said in a statement. “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.”


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