In his newest 'war on media' targeting CNN - which he regularly scolds as "fake news" - Donald Trump has published a video clip of himself body slamming the news network.
President Trump, presently on vacation at his Bedminster golf resort in New Jersey, tweeted an old video of himself performing at a WWE wrestling match, but with his challenger's face covered with a CNN logo.
“#FraudNewsCNN” Donald Trump posted.
The modified video Donald Trump published appeared on Reddit, a social media message board, a couple of days back.
The original clip seems to be from when Donald Trump fought with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as part of the business's 'Battle of the Billionaires'.
Trump has long been connected with WWE and was sworn into the company's Hall of Fame in 2013.
In reaction to Donald Trump's tweet, CNN published a quote from Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claiming last week that:
"the President in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary."
“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” CNN said in an official statement.
“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 health care bill,
he is instead involved in juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
In response, Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert claimed he is happy of Mr Trump for creating a strong social media platform “where he can talk directly to the American people”.
“No one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t,” Bossert told ABC, in reference to the tweet. “I do think he’s being beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
Thomas Bossert stated he does not assume Donald Trump's post is sending out a message to attack journalists and to escalate his 'war on media'.
But the stress between politicians and reporters appears to be magnifying.
In May, while covering Montana's at-large congressional district special report, The Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs was supposedly body-slammed by Republican candidate Greg Gianforte.
Gianforte, that was ultimately elected, pleaded guilty in court on a charge of misdemeanour assault.
Donald Trump's beef with CNN intensified last week after the network retracted a news piece that stated the US Senate was exploring links in between one of his transition aides and the head of a Russian bank.
Federal and congressional investigators are presently probing whether Trump campaign advisors conspired with the Russian government to affect the 2016 presidential election.
Three editors and reporters resigned over the story, which CNN stated had not been vetted appropriately.
The White House has continued to condemn the report, with Trump even disturbing a speech he was giving about energy last week to state CNN was "fake news".
The President has regularly criticised media outlets that he perceives to have released damaging work concerning him or his administration.
Also Last week, reacting an hour after MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski accused him of “lying every day”, “destroying the country” and having “teensy” hands, Donald Trump declared on Twitter that Ms Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” when he saw her last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort, triggering a feud.
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Commentators have questioned Mr Trump's use social networks to push forward his war on media, claiming that it sidetracks from his legislative program and reveals that he does not have impulse control.
Mr Trump proceeds to defend his behavior, believing that social media is the best tool for his voters to get his unfiltered messages.
“The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won...” he tweeted on Saturday.
Adding on Sunday morning, “My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”
Republican Senator Ben Sasse stated he is worried about Donald Trump's war on media due to the risks of "weaponising distrust", which can damage the liberties that define democracy.
“There’s an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that and trying to weaponise distrust,” Sasse stated in an interview with CNN.
“The First Amendment is the beating heart of the American experiment, and you don’t get to separate the freedoms that are in there.”