Trump takes down CNN in WWE fight video
President Trump on Sunday tweeted a modified video of a wrestling match between himself and his media rival CNN.
The tweet escalates an ongoing war of rhetoric between the president of the United States and the cable news outlet. The video appears to show Trump attacking and subduing a figure whose face is obscured by a CNN logo.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
The video Trump tweeted is from WrestleMania 23 in 2007 when Trump competed versus WWE head Vince McMahon during a staged “battle of the billionaires” fight where each chose one wrestler to represent them.
Trump’s wrestler also won that match, and McMahon was required to shave his head after the loss. In a staged TV moment, Trump “bodyslammed” McMahon and then helped shave his head. The unmodified video is available on YouTube. The modified video appears to have been borrowed from a user on Reddit.
McMahon is also the husband of Linda McMahon, whom Trump tapped to lead the Small Business Administration.
Trump tweeted the video with the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, apparently his new name for the network. He previewed the name in another tweet on Saturday.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
The video immediately revived questions about whether Trump’s anti-media rhetoric is encouraging violence against the media.
Last week, when Trump tweeted a personal attack against female MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski — he accused her of getting a face-lift and having a low IQ — the White House’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders was forced to defend the president’s tweets.
“The president in no way, form, or fashion has ever encouraged any form of violence,” she said in a press briefing.
CNN noted the quote in their response to Trump’s video.
"The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary." – @SHSanders45 6/29/17
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) July 2, 2017
“It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” a CNN spokesperson told The Hill. “Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his healthcare bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
Although Trump frequently critiques the news media for peddling “fake news” and negative coverage of him, CNN has been a frequent and favorite target.