US president Donald Trump has taken his beef with the media to the ring, sharing a mock video of himself beating up a CNN reporter.
In the video, the president is seen walking up to a man with the CNN logo obscuring his face, throwing him to the ground and repeatedly punching him.
Trump tweeted the violent video to his millions of followers and wrote “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN”.
The video is an edited version of Trump’s 2007 appearance at World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 23 promotion, in which the now president “takes down” WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
Trump has battled many of the major American news outlets since announcing his bid for presidency and has repeatedly branded CNN and others “fake news” and “the enemy of the American people”.
He has drastically reduced White House press briefings from daily to occasional and mostly only gives interviews to right-leaning media such as Fox News.
People were quick to air their shock after he shared the fake fight video overnight, with Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth writing on Twitter: “Incredible. Trump thinks it’s appropriate to circulate mock video of him as head of state beating a CNN journalist. Autocrats are rejoicing.”
Hours before posting the video, Trump went on a Tweeting spree and lashed out at those criticising him for his frequent and unfiltered use of social media.
My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
CNN has responded to the video with a statement, calling Trump’s behaviour “juvenile”.
“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.”
“We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”