President Trump ripped into CNN Wednesday at a private fundraiser, calling top members of the staff “horrible human beings” and telling the audience he was considering suing the network for its fake news stories: “Wouldn’t that be fun?”
In audio obtained by The Intercept, Trump is heard addressing a private fundraiser at his Washington, DC, hotel. In his remarks, he discussed the recent troubles that hit CNN–namely its recent retraction of a story on alleged ties between a Russia investment fund and members of his campaign, as well as videos that appear to show CNN contributors dismissing the importance of the Russia controversy.
“Boy, did CNN get killed over the last few days,” Trump said to raucous applause.
James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released a video this week that appeared to show both a CNN producer and contributor Van Jones downplaying the alleged Russia-Trump controversy, with Van Jones calling it a “nothing burger.”
In his remarks Wednesday, Trump referred to the Van Jones tape and asked his audience if he should sue CNN, calling its staff — including President Jeff Zucker — “horrible human beings.”
“Van Jones — you see this guy?” Trump said, before mocking him for calling the hyped Russia controversy a “nothing burger.” “These are really dishonest people. Should I sue them? I mean, they’re phonies. Jeff Zucker, I hear he’s going to resign at some point pretty soon. I mean, these are horrible human beings.”
“These are really dishonest people. Should I sue them? I mean, they’re phonies. Jeff Zucker — I hear he’s going to resign at some point pretty soon. I mean, these are horrible human beings.”
This is not the first time Trump has talked shakeups at the network. This week, he tweeted that “big management changes” were coming:
Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
Trump went on to say that Zucker and company have hurt CNN’s reputation. He then went back to the idea of suing the network, saying it would be fun if any lawyer fancied the case.
“It’s a shame what they’ve done to the name CNN. That, I can tell you,” Trump said. “But as far as I’m concerned, I love it. If anybody’s a lawyer in the house and thinks I have a good lawsuit — I feel like we do. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.