US President Donald Trump’s tweet about CNN shows he is “thinking about violence,” says an American lawmaker as the president faces growing backlash over the move.
Trump released Sunday a modified video showing him body-slamming CNN in a wrestling match on Twitter, in the wake of heightened tensions with the media outlet.
“Donald Trump has had a series of highly disturbing tweets, but his last one, on Sunday morning, was beyond disturbing,” said California Democratic Representative Ted Lieu on MSNBC. “We now have the president encouraging violence against the news
media. He is increasing the risk that a journalist is going to get injured or get killed.”
Calling the move “wildly inappropriate,” Lieu added that “It also shows that this is what’s in the president’s mind… He is thinking about violence. He is thinking about assaulting a reporter.”
He further suggested that such measures indicate with the president’s mental health. “And these tweets make us question that,” said the lawmaker.
‘Attacking press equals attacking people’
Meanwhile, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press released a statement to censure the measure.
“We condemn the president’s threat of physical violence against journalists. This tweet is beneath the office of the presidency. Sadly, it is not beneath this president,” wrote Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “No one should be threatened with physical harm for doing their jobs. Journalists are your neighbors, they’re your friends.”
He further referred to provisions in the US Constitution to highlight the role of journalism in politics
“[The Founding Fathers] wrote that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” read the statement. “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. The press are the people’s window into the halls of power, and most importantly, they are the people’s check on that power. When the president attacks the press, he attacks the people.”
Republican Representative Joe Walsh, a longtime Trump supporter, also denounced the tweet as “not funny.”
“[Comedian Kathy Griffin] holding Trump’s severed head isn’t funny. [Donald Trump] physically assaulting a [CNN] reporter isn’t funny either. Smh,” Walsh tweeted.
According to a CNN spokesperson speaking to The Hill, “It is a sad day when the president of the United States
encourages violence against reporters.”
Since the 2016 campaign, Trump has repeatedly used the term “fake news” mostly for any coverage criticizing him or his allies.