Donald Trump stunned the country on Wednesday when he screamed at a CNN reporter during his first press conference as president-elect, calling the news organization “fake news.”
The feud first began when CNN reported that during Trump’s briefing on Russian election hacking on Jan. 6, intelligence officials also briefed him on the fact that Russians claimed to have “compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” Immediately after the story was published online, Buzzfeed published what they claimed might possibly be the information Russia referred to as the compromising information.
CNN did not originally report the Buzzfeed story, although they did later update the story online to say that Buzzfeed had reported it. CNN noted in their update that they chose not to report on the dossier of memos that has circulated through some of the upper levels of government and among intelligence officials as they had not yet been verified.
Sean Spicer, Trump’s incoming press secretary, began Trump’s press conference by referring to the story as one ran by “CNN and Buzzfeed,” although CNN did not publish the dossier, nor did they link to it in their original story.
When Kellyanne Conway appeared on CNN to speak with Anderson Cooper hours after the contentious exchange between Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta in which Trump refused to take his questions and called CNN “fake news,” that exchange became equally heated.
Conway began by telling Anderson Cooper that CNN and Buzzfeed were both fake news organizations.
‘Sean Spicer was exactly right, as was the president-elect. CNN went first yesterday, and Buzzfeed went second.’
Cooper insisted, and truthfully so, that CNN did not report the story that Buzzfeed did. They reported the information given to them by multiple sources within the intelligence community, as well as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Conway bit out a response that she repeated throughout the interview.
‘I know CNN must be feeling the heat today.’
Anderson Cooper allowed her to say this once without comment. The second time she said it, Cooper scoffed and told Conway he thinks it’s the Trump team that’s feeling some heat. He also told Conway she and Trump were “conflating” the two news outlets and that, again, CNN chose not to report on the story. Conway raised her voice, deflected, and even invoked Hillary Clinton’s alleged corruption, and the interview only got more incredible from there.
For the full interview, see below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube