At a bilateral news conference in Warsaw, where he stood next to the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, President Donald Trump said CNN's response to the now-viral GIF he tweeted of himself wrestling someone on whose head was superimposed the network's logo was "unfortunate." Trump said that the network had taken it too seriously. "I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them," Trump said during his visit to Poland on Thursday. "As you know now, they have some pretty serious problems. They have been fake news for a long time. They've been covering me in a very dishonest way."

On Sunday, Trump tweeted out a meme that featured footage from 2007 when he stage-wrestled WWE founder and CEO Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. In the GIF, McMahon's face was obscured by the CNN logo. CNN tracked down a person who it claims is the creator of the original GIF. CNN proclaimed that the Reddit user behind the GIF -- HanAssholeSolo -- and determined that he had also posted ostensibly anti-Semitic and racists comments. The supposed creator of the GIF issued an apology to CNN and deleted his posts at Reddit. CNN said that it is concealing his identity so long as he lives up to an agreement with the network. 

Trump supporters call it a version of blackmail. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested that it may violate a Georgia statute forbidding coercion and extortion. 

"CNN has really taken it too seriously, and I think they've hurt themselves very badly. Very, very badly," Trump said in Warsaw. "What we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free, but honest press. We want to see a fair press. I think it's a very important thing. We don't want fake news. By the way, not everybody is fake news, but we don't want fake news. Bad thing. Very bad for our country."

 

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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