President Donald Trump continued his war on CNN during a press conference at the White House on Thursday.
During an exchange with CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta, Trump said he was changing his description of their network from “fake news” to “very fake news.”
“Real news, Mr. President, real news,” Acosta replied.
Trump indicated that he was not pleased with the tone coming from the network.
“I see tone … the tone is such hatred. I’m really not a bad person, by the way,” Trump said. “No, but the tone is such hatred.”
Acosta defended his network, claiming that it didn’t hate him.
“For the record, we don’t hate you,” he said. “I don’t hate you.”
“Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?” Trump replied, referring to his past relationship with the CNN executive.
Acosta warned that Trump’s attacks on the network were endangering the First Amendment.
“When you call it ‘fake news,’ you’re undermining confidence in our news media,” Acosta said, adding that Trump was “undermining the people’s faith in the First Amendment.”
Trump assured the press that he could handle bad stories, but said that they didn’t play the stories straight, and focused intently on the negative.
“You’re CNN, I mean it’s story after story after story is bad,” he said.
Trump specifically referred to CNN’s 10 p.m. programming, which is anchored by Don Lemon, though he didn’t mention Lemon by name.
“You just take a look at that show. That is a constant hit. The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump … and the hatred and venom coming from his mouth; the hatred coming from other people on your network,” he said, remarking that the show didn’t get very good ratings.
He added that CNN was not respected by the American people, especially from his supporters.
“The public gets it, you know. Look, when I go to rallies, they turn around, they start screaming at CNN,” Trump said. “They want to throw their placards at CNN. You know.”