Trump Attacks Buzzfeed And CNN At Press Conference A Day After Russian Hotel Sex Blackmail Scandal Was Published And Refuses To Answer Questions From “Fake News Reporters”.
Donald Trump unleashed on the two media outlets that first published details of a dossier on Tuesday that claimed, among other things, that he was being blackmailed by the Russian government after they obtained video of him committing a sex act with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.
In his first press conference since being elected, Trump firmly stated that the contents of the dossier were false, before going after CNN and Buzzfeed.
‘That fake news was written about primarily by one group and one television station,’ said Trump.
CNN reported on a two-page synopsis of the dossier, which Buzzfeed then published it in its entirety.
Trump went after the outlet that published the entire dossier first, saying: ‘Buzzfeed is a failing pile of garbage and they’re going to suffer the consequences.’
He made that statement after pointing out what he claims is one of the more glaring errors in the dossier, which said his lawyer Michael Cohen had been in Prague in late August or early September to meet with Kremlin officials.
Trump said that he had even seen Cohen’s passport himself which proved he did not make the trip.
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After he was done dismissing BuzzFeed, Trump then criticized CNN.
‘As far as CNN going out of their way to build it up, it’s a disgrace what took place. It’s a disgrace, and I think they ought to apologize to start,’ said Trump.
That prompted Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta to begin shouting at Trump in an attempt to ask a question.
‘No not you,’ said Trump as Acosta yelled out at him, pointing instead to another reporter.
Acosta then started to say that since Trump had demeaned his organization he should be allowed to speak and ask a question.
‘Since you’re attacking us, can you give us a question?’ asked Acosta.
‘Since you are attacking our news organization – can you give us a chance?’
Trump was not having it though, saying to Acosta: ‘Not you, you don’t get a question. Your organization is terrible.’
He then continued to shut Acosta down, saying: ‘Quiet. Don’t be rude. Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question, you are fake news.’
Shortly after, Trump did take a question from Jeremy Diamond however, who works for CNN.
Immediately after the press conference, CNN anchor Jake Tapper defended the network’s decision to release the parts of the dossier that they did on Tuesday, which totaled just two pages and included nothing of the sex act that has become the most talked about allegation of the report.
He said that the network released the same two-page synopsis that was shown to President Obama and Trump by intelligence officials, and that they had spent several hours waiting to publish the report after asking the president-elect to comment on the information.
That contradicts Trump’s claim that he was never briefed on the dossier.
‘And when Mr. Trump went after our Jim Acosta and said he is fake news and his isn’t going to call on him, what I suspect we are seeing here is an attempt to decredit legitimate, responsible attempts to report on this incoming administration,’ said Tapper.
‘And the media, going forward, should keep that in mind.’
Taper then called the decision by Buzzfeed to publish the entire 35-page dossier, which was almost entirely unverified, ‘irresponsible journalism that hurts us all.’ He also said he could understand why Trump was upset with the website.
A CNN statement released minutes later however completely contradicted what Tapper had said on the air just moments prior.
‘We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week,’ read the statement.
Both the original report and Tapper had stated very clearly that the documents were seen by Trump, not ‘prepared for.’
Tapper later had Acosta on to speak about what happened at the press conference after Trump refused to let him ask his question.
Acsota said that the question he had planned to ask was later posed to Trump by ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega, who asked if anyone in the campaign had at any point been in contact with Russia.
‘He said, no, that nobody associated with him or his campaign was in contact with the Russians during the context of that campaign,’ reported Acosta.
He then revealed that after he began yelling at Trump, newly appointed press secretary Sean Spicer came over and told him if he said one more thing he would be removed from the press conference.
Multiple reporters in attendance seemed to confirm that, reporting on social media that Spicer could be seen angrily pointing at Acosta at the end of event.
That threat came just one month after Spicer appeared on The Kelly File and told Megyn Kelly that Trump would not kick reporters out of press conferences or have them removed from briefings.
Spicer also took aim at Buzzfeed before his boss came out to speak on Wednesday, saying: ‘It’s frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was highly hostile to the president-elect’s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the Internet just days before he takes the oath of office.’
He went on to call the decision a ‘pathetic move to get clicks’ before adding: ‘For all the talk of fake news, this political witch hunt by some in the media is based on some of the most flimsy reporting that’s frankly shameful and disgraceful.’
BuzzFeed founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti previously angered many in the Trump camp, especially Ivanka, when he tweeted about the president-elect’s oldest daughter just before the election.
After Ivanka said in an interview she was not a fan of foul language while discussing the tape of Trump in which he spoke of grabbing women by the p****,’ Peretti wrote on Twitter: ‘Surprised Ivanka would be shocked by lewd language. I met her once & she casually said: “I’ve never seen a mulatto c***, but I’d like to!”‘
He later said that she made the comment close to a decade prior while they were at a Manhattan dive bar, and two others who were present confirmed Peretti’s claim.
Ivanka meanwhile released a statement soon after, saying: ‘I am not sure if this was meant to be a joke, but in case there is any ambiguity, this is a complete and total lie.’