NEW YORK (AP) – CNN fought back against President Donald Trump on Monday with a lengthy video showing its reporters in dangerous situations and Wolf Blitzer saying that despite the insults, “even the loudest critics can’t silence the facts.”
Trump has criticized CNN for “fake news” for the entirety of his presidency. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, he took particular aim at the CNN International by saying on Twitter that the network lies and represents the U.S. poorly to the world. CNN was a target again on Monday.
Blitzer, on CNN Monday afternoon, said the network’s reporters risk their lives in the world’s most dangerous places every day. He showed a four-minute clip reel of CNN reports from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, North Korea and Bangladesh, with a soundtrack of bullets and bombs.
“CNN and CNN International are not sponsored by any state or autocrat or any political organization,” Blitzer said. “Despite the constant criticism of the president, we are unwavering in our mission – free and independent, as the press should be.”
Trump took a more general media shot on Monday, tweeting: “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite president (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”
Blitzer said the pursuit of truth and rejection of attacks is something CNN holds sacred. “No matter how many insults or blatant assaults on the press and its freedoms, this pursuit is something for which we will never bend or break and even the loudest critics can’t silence the facts,” he said.
CNN declined further comment on Blitzer’s rebuke and who might have ordered it.
After Trump’s Saturday tweet about CNN International, CNN tweeted back that “it’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S. to the world. That’s yours. Our job is to report the news.”
The CNN tweet received more than 289,000 endorsements on Twitter. Trump’s original message had 109,000.