24 February, 2017

Trump attacks CNN and BuzzFeed at press conference

Donald Trump refused to answer a question from a CNN reporter during his press conference at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, as retribution for the CNN story that said he and Barack Obama had been presented with claims that Russia had compromising financial and personal information about the president-elect, The Guardian informed.

“Not you. Your organization is terrible,” said Trump, when CNN’s senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, tried to ask a question.

“Since you’re attacking us, can you give us a question? Mr President-elect, since you’re attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance?” asked Acosta.

“I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news,” said the president-elect.

Trump was furious after BuzzFeed published an unverified and salacious 35-page report yesterday claiming to show connections between Trump and Russia, using CNN’s earlier story (which mentions the report without revealing its full contents or publishing it) as justification for publishing.

BuzzFeed’s decision triggered a storm over media ethics. 

Trump repeatedly criticized CNN and BuzzFeed throughout his press conference at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, calling BuzzFeed a “leftwing blog” and a “failing pile of garbage” for publishing the unverified report. bla

CNN later said that its decision to publish “carefully sourced reporting” on unverified intelligence documents concerning Donald Trump was “vastly different than BuzzFeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos”.

His attack on CNN can be viewed as somewhat ironic.

Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, was the head of NBC Entertainment when it launched The Apprentice, and the success of that and the subsequent spin-off The Celebrity Apprentice helped Zucker become head of NBC. Then, with Zucker as president, CNN gave Trump millions in free publicity thanks to its round-the-clock coverage of his presidential campaign.

In Wednesday’s press conference, Trump also slammed intelligence agencies for supposedly leaking the report to news agencies. 

“I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake” to get out, said Trump.

“As far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences, and they already are,” Trump said.

Many news outlets, including the Guardian, published articles based on the report without publishing it in full or giving its full details because they are unverified.

The Guardian reported that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court last summer so that it could monitor four members of Trump’s team suspected of contact with Russian officials, but the Fisa court rejected the application. 

Source: The Guardian

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