'FAKE NEWS!' to 'Nice Smile': It's a Trump Media Avalanche
CNN's retraction gives the president new ammunition
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2017 8:23 AM CDT
President Trump talks with new Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump's relationship with the media is very much front and center again, most notably after three CNN journalists resigned over a retracted story. Trump himself went after the network on Twitter—"What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!"—and a White House spokesperson on Tuesday pushed an anti-CNN video by right-wing provocateur James O'Keefe. Meanwhile, the president also is publicly feuding again with the New York Times. Here's the latest:

  • CNN mess: The network yanked an online article alleging that Trump confidante Anthony Scaramucci had ties to a Russian investment firm, and the New York Times has more details on what happened and on how the network's respected "Triad" vetting system for sensitive stories failed. (Here is CNN's apology note, which does not specify what was incorrect.)
  • Awful timing: It couldn't come at a worse time for CNN in the "fake news" wars, observes Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi. Despite Trump's suggestion to the contrary, Farhi writes that CNN is not looking at "big management changes." Interesting nugget: He notes that CNN investigations editor Lex Haris, one of the three to resign, was away at a conference when the story ran.
  • O'Keefe video: In a press briefing, White House deputy press chief Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed an undercover video by O'Keefe showing a CNN producer seeming to question the network's Russia coverage, reports the Hill. "Whether it’s accurate or not I don’t know, but I would encourage everybody in this room, and frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it." You can see it here.


  • Another coming: O'Keefe tells the AP that another video involving a second CNN employee is coming. Meanwhile, CNN stood by John Bonfield, the producer in the first video: "Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it."
  • Times feud: After the New York Times ran an article suggesting that Trump was not hands-on during the Senate's health bill talks, he tweeted that it was another "false story" about him. "They don't even call to verify the facts of a story," he complained. To which reporter Glenn Thrush responded, "Call your office, sir. @nytimes spoke to many, many, many members of your staff yesterday - & ran everything by your team."
  • 'Nice smile': Trump's relationship with the media isn't all adversarial. While on a call with Ireland's new leader on Tuesday, Trump called over Irish RTE reporter Caitriona Perry and complimented her "nice smile." The BBC has video, and it notes that Trump critics are calling out the move as sexist.

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