President Donald Trump offered a measured criticism of CNN in response to a question about the backlash the network received for threatening to reveal the identity of the CNN wrestling video creator, during a Thursday press conference in Warsaw, Poland.
“What CNN did was unfortunate for them as you know now they have some pretty serious problems. They have been fake news for a long time, they have been covering me in a very dishonest way,” Trump said.
Trump’s statement was made in reference to a story CNN published on Tuesday which indicated the network had discovered the identity of the reddit user who created the modified video Trump tweeted on Sunday. The video shows Trump tackling and punching a man with a CNN logo superimposed over his head. (RELATED: Media Horrified After Trump Tweets Video Body-Slamming CNN)
In the Tuesday article, CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski wrote that CNN had discovered the Reddit users identity but was refraining from revealing the information publicly because the gif creator had issued a public apology. While CNN claims to have ascertained the gif creator’s true identity, it remains unclear whether they identified the correct person. (RELATED: CNN’s Blockbusting Reddit Memevestigation Is Falling Apart)
“CNN is not publishing ‘HanA**holeSolo’s’ name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same,” Kaczynski wrote. “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”
The article received significant backlash from other media outlets and social media users who used #CNNBlackmail to criticize the outlet for threatening to punish an individual for creating content they disagreed with.