President Donald Trump has weighed in on the wrestling GIF controversy, describing CNN as “fake news” and claiming the outlet “hurt themselves very badly.” In a joint press conference with Polish president Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on Thursday, Trump responded to a reporter’s question about the ongoing fallout from the animation posted on Trump’s Twitter page Sunday.
On Wednesday, the network claimed that it had identified the man behind an animation shared by Trump on Twitter. It showed Trump wrestling with a man that had the CNN logo superimposed over his face. The Reddit user behind the GIF, “HanAssholeSolo,” was also behind a series of racist and antisemitic posts. The network said that it would not reveal the man’s identity as he had apologized for his previous posts, but it would change course if his “ugly behavior” resumed.
The animation is now Trump’s most retweeted post, at nearly 350,000 retweets:
During the Thursday conference, a reporter asked Trump: “Since you started the whole wrestling video thing, what are your thoughts about what has happened since then? CNN went after you and has threatened to expose the identity of a person they said was responsible for it, and I’d like your thoughts on it.”
As well as criticizing CNN for covering him in “a very dishonest way,” Trump said that NBC was “equally as bad,” claiming that the network had forgotten the “fortune” Trump made for NBC through The Apprentice.
View Trump’s response in full below:
I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them. As you know, now they have some pretty serious problems. They have been fake news for a long time, they have been covering me in a very…a very dishonest way. [turns to Duda] Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President? [audience laughs] CNN and others, I mean, I know, there’s NBC that’s equally as bad despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice but they forgot that. But I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously and I think they’ve hurt themselves very badly, very, very badly, and what we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free but honest press. We want to see fair press, I think it’s a very important thing. We don’t want fake news. And by the way, not everybody is fake news, but we don’t want fake news. Bad thing, very bad for our country.