Trump heightens attacks against CNN, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein over Trump Tower story

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE on Wednesday stepped up his personal attacks against CNN, lambasting the network and veteran journalist Carl Bernstein for a July report about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

“CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake," Trump tweeted Wednesday evening. "Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News.”

Bernstein, known for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, co-wrote an article for CNN reporting that Trump's former lawyer and "fixer," Michael Cohen, was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump knew about the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpComedians post fake Army recruitment posters featuring Trump Jr. Trump Jr., Ivanka garner support in hypothetical 2024 poll FWS: There's 'no basis' to investigate Trump Jr.'s Mongolian hunting trip MORE and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on the-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

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Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, later publicly confirmed that he was a source for the story. He walked back his claim that Cohen knew Trump was aware of the meeting. 

“I regret not being much clearer in saying I'm not sure about this story,” Davis, who is an opinion contributor at The Hill, told NBC News.

CNN says it spoke to multiple sources — not just Davis — for its article.

Trump Jr. also criticized CNN for the story, tweeting Sunday, “Comical to watch @CNN covering for leftist hack @carlbernstein. He & Obama staffer @jimsciutto obviously got story wrong. CNN 'stands by' it anyway, defending literal fake news. 3 'reporters' were fired for false CNN hit on [White House communications director Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciScaramucci: 'Trump fatigue' could help Bloomberg beat Trump if he wins Democratic nomination Will Republicans continue to engage in willful blindness? Scaramucci: Trump sees Bloomberg as threat MORE] & this is FAR worse!”

"We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it," a CNN spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

This article was updated and corrected at 11:25 a.m.