Sunday, July 2, 2017
Of Course, It Was Not A Threat. Anyone With Common Sense Knows That
Trump aide says CNN Twitter video wasn't a threat to journalists
WASHINGTON –– Donald Trump's homeland security adviser said a Twitter video posted by the president depicting him body-slamming and choking a representation of CNN wasn't meant as a threat to journalists.
Thomas Bossert spoke on ABC's "This Week" shortly after Trump posted the video on his Twitter account and hours after the president lambasted the media during an appearance in Washington meant to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day holiday.
"No one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don't," Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security, said of Trump's post. The video, adapted from a 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment event that Trump participated in, showed him taking down a man with CNN's logo superimposed over the man's face.
The White House didn't respond to requests for clarification on whether Trump was encouraging physical violence against reporters, or what message he was seeking to convey.
The president has kept up a steady attack on certain journalists and media outlets. He used a speech Saturday night at Washington's Kennedy Center to attack the free press as "fake" for coverage that's critical of him.
It also follows days of Trump feuding on social media with MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Trump's swipes at Brzezinski's physical appearance and mental state prompted several Republicans in Congress to call Trump's posts inappropriate and un-presidential.
In a statement, CNN said it is "a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters."
(Mark Niquette and Margaret Talev contributed to this report.)