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Trump Seizes on Media Mistakes to Go on Full-Throated Rant Against “Fake News”

US President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Pensacola Bay Center on December 8, 2017 in Pensacola, Florida.  / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Pensacola Bay Center on December 8, 2017 in Pensacola, Florida.

It’s hardly news that President Donald Trump loves going after the “fake news” media, but he was positively gleeful on Friday night at his rally in Pensacola, Florida, acting like a man whose views have been vindicated following several high profile mistakes by reporters over the past week. And he continued on Twitter Saturday, making clear that the rough week for media has given Trump ammunition for a while.

On Friday night, Trump said ABC’s Bryan Ross should be fired for his erroneous report on the Russia investigation last week, pointing to it as an example of a larger problem. “Did you see all the corrections the media’s been making?” Trump said Friday night. “They’ve been apologizing left and right. They took this fraudster from ABC—they suspended him for a month. They should have fired him for what he wrote.” Trump then repeated the suggestion he first floated last week on Twitter, calling on people to file suit against the network. “He drove the stock market down 350 points in minutes, which, by the way, tells me they really like me, right? When you think of it. You know what he cost people? And I said to everybody, get yourself a lawyer and sue ABC News,” Trump said.

The commander in chief then went on to blast CNN for its Friday story on emails that his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., received an email on Sept. 4, 2016 regarding WikiLeaks.
Turns out the email was actually dated Sept. 14, 2016. It was a small mistake but made all the difference in the story because CNN suggested Trump had been shown hacked files more than a week before they were made public. CNN later apologized.

“They apologized! Oh, thank you CNN,” he said. “Thank you so much. You should have been apologizing for the last two years.” Trump then continued his attack against CNN on Saturday morning on Twitter, saying it was a “vicious and purposeful mistake.” The commander in chief said CNN was “caught red handed” and called on his supporters to “Watch to see if @CNN fires those responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?” The president then went on to mock CNN’s slogan, writing that it should be changed to, “CNN, THE LEAST TRUSTED NAME IN NEWS!”

CNN had already made clear it didn’t have plans to take action against the reporters involved in the erroneous story, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb. “There will not be any disciplinary action taken because every procedure put in place as part of the editorial process was followed,” a spokesperson said. “People don’t get fired at CNN for making a mistake. They get fired when they don’t follow editorial procedures.”

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