President Donald Trump has stepped up his feud with the media by tweeting a mock video of himself tackling and striking a man with a CNN logo super-imposed in place of his head, followed by a logo saying “Fraud News Network.”
CNN has responded by accusing Trump of encouraging violence against reporters and engaging in “juvenile behaviour”.
The video appeared to be a modified version of a 2007 appearance by Trump at World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 23 promotion, in which Trump “takes down” WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
In Sunday’s video, McMahon’s head has been replaced with the CNN logo.
After Trump appears to beat on the CNN effigy, a logo, “FNN Fraud News Network” appears at the bottom of the screen in script similar to that of CNN.
As a presidential candidate and as commander-in-chief, Trump has repeatedly made known his disdain for the media, calling it “the enemy of the American people” and frequently referring to mainstream news organisations as “failing” or “fake news.” He has been particularly scathing of CNN.
The video takes his criticism to a new level and drew criticism from the news organisation and on social media.
“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” CNN said in a statement.
“Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office,” CNN said.
Bill Kristol, the conservative commentator and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, compared Trump’s actions to behaviour that caused the fall of the Roman Empire.
“The speed with which we’re recapitulating the decline and fall of Rome is impressive. What took Rome centuries we’re achieving in months,” Kristol wrote in a Tweet.
Trump’s Sunday tweet followed his scathing and highly personal Twitter attack on two MSNBC anchors last week, which drew condemnation from Republicans, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, and Democrats alike.
Listen: Mia Freedman and Amelia Lester discuss Donald Trump’s presidency on Tell Me It’s Going To Be OK.