WASHINGTON (CN) – A feud between President Donald Trump and news outlet CNN erupted into a barrage of blistering early morning tweets from the president when he again targeted the media as the “enemy of the people” Thursday morning.
Trump began Thursday morning by unloading on CNN president Jeff Zucker.
“The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function. But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time. Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck and AT&T should fire him to save credibility,” the president tweeted. [Emphasis original.]
The spat between the president and CNN began earlier this week when Trump slammed the outlet for what he called a “major lie” in a report by veteran journalist Carl Bernstein.
Bernstein wrote an article last month alleging Trump had previous knowledge of a meeting in Trump Tower between his campaign officials and Russian representatives.
This past weekend, Lanny Davis, a former attorney for Trump’s onetime attorney, Michael Cohen, told the Washington Post that he was Bernstein’s anonymous source in the July story.
Davis told NBC News he regretted being a source, saying “I never should have done it unless I was certain I could prove it.”
CNN stands by the piece.
After the president called Bernstein a “degenerate fool,” on Twitter Wednesday night, Bernstein responded.
“I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties. No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. @CNN stands by its story and I stand by my reporting,” Bernstein wrote.
CNN was not the only news outlet to draw the president’s outrage Thursday morning.
“What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!” the president wrote.
The president offered no evidence to back up his claim that Lester Holt or NBC manipulated the tape of his 2017 interview
During the interview, Trump said of his decision to fire former FBI director James Comey: “In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.’”
“I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
Less than an hour after that tweet, Trump lashed out at the media more broadly. This time for coverage of White House counselor Don McGahn’s impending exit.
“Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner had NOTHING to do with the so called “pushing out” of Don McGahn. The Fake News Media has it, purposely, so wrong! They love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn’t exist-just a “smooth running machine” with changing parts,” Trump wrote. [Emphasis original.]
Trump announced McGahn’s departure via Twitter Wednesday.
The counselor resigns this fall. His resignation follows a barrage of media reports indicating McGahn met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors and answered their questions for several hours.
On Thursday Trump said on Twitter he was “very excited” about the person who will replace McGahn but did not specify who would take his place.
“I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!” Trump tweeted.