President Donald Trump showed yet again that he is never too busy to get into a petty Twitter fight with the media. On Saturday, it was (once again) the turn of CNN, which got called a source of “fake” news, while the commander in chief took the opportunity to praise its competitor Fox News.
“@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 president wrote on Twitter. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
It looks like CNN’s public relations team was ready and less than an hour later it hit back with a tweet of its own: “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.”
This was, of course, hardly the first time Trump has criticized CNN. But it does come at a significant time for the cable news channel’s parent company as the Justice Department on Monday sued to block AT&T’s bid for Time Warner. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters he was opposed to the merger even though he said he would not get involved. “I’m not going to get involved in litigation but personally I’ve always felt that was a deal that was not good for the country,” Trump said. “I think your pricing’s going to go up — I don’t think it is a good deal for the country. But I’m not going to get involved, it’s litigation.”
Several CNN employees also came to the cable news channel’s defense, including anchor Jake Tapper. “Thinking about @cnni and my brave and hard-working colleagues there who cover famines and wars and politics and terrorism and everything else,” Tapper wrote.
He was not alone. Jim Sciutto, a national security correspondent, also praised his CNN International colleagues. “@realDonaldTrump My CNNi & CNN colleagues regularly risk their lives in #Syria #Iraq #Afghanistan #Niger and beyond, following US Troops into war-zones, chronicling natural disasters, holding dictators to account & profiling everyday heroes,” Sciutto wrote on Twitter.
Saturday marked the second time in as many days that the commander in chief got into a spat with a major media outlet. On Friday, Trump said he “took a pass” at being named “Person of the Year” because the position wasn’t guaranteed. The magazine quickly shot down the president’s claim, insisting that it “does not comment” on the choice “until publication, which is December 6.”