President-elect Donald Trump directly called a CNN reporter a purveyor of “fake news” during a contentious press conference he held on Wednesday morning—following the publication of an unverified document that made salacious claims about his ties with the Russian government.
Reports said that CNN’s Jim Acosta attempted to interrupt Trump repeatedly during the press conference. “Your organization is terrible,” Trump said.
“You are attacking us”, he shouted, while asking, “Can you give us a question?” Trump replied with, “No. Not you” and “don’t be rude.”
After a few seconds of the exchange, Trump replied: “You are fake news” and pointed at him.
The reporter then stopped, and the president-elect took a question from another reporter about Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
On Tuesday night, CNN and BuzzFeed News reported that intelligence officials briefed Trump on an unverified dossier saying Russia’s government had possession of compromising information—some of it sexual in nature—on Trump. The unverified 35-page document was published in full by BuzzFeed, drawing the ire of other news organizations, as it essentially broke with common journalistic practices.
“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday night.
FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
During the press conference on Wednesday, Trump went after CNN directly, as reported by The Hill.
Trump said, “I think it’s a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public. As far as BuzzFeed—which is a failing pile of garbage—writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences. They already are. And as far as CNN going out of their way to build it up.”