Donald Trump spars with CNN at news conference, calls it "fake news"

Source: AP
Source: AP

Donald Trump got into a verbal scuffle with CNN on live TV Wednesday, when he refused to allow a reporter from the news organization to ask a question at his press conference. 

Trump was responding to the explosive report CNN published Tuesday night alleging that Russia has compromising information that could be used to blackmail the president-elect. 

"I am not going to give you a question," Trump yelled at CNN reporter Jim Acosta. "You are fake news."

Acosta didn't back down: "Since you are attacking our organization, can you give us a chance?" to which Trump spit back "No" before moving on.


Other reporters in the room yelled over Acosta as he attempted to ask his question.

Trump took a large chunk of his news conference — his first since July — to attack CNN and BuzzFeed, both of which published reports Tuesday evening based on an unsubstantiated claim alleging Trump's deep ties to Russia.

CNN reported that Trump surrogates met with Russian government officials during the campaign to exchange information, and that Russia purportedly has compromising personal and financial information on Trump.

BuzzFeed went a step further, publishing the details of the compromising material, which included a report that Trump ordered Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel room bed that President Barack Obama once slept in.

Trump and his incoming White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, vehemently denied the accounts, calling the report "pathetic," "shameful" and "fake news."

CNN, for its part, defended its reporting in a statement after the scuffle with Trump, saying they are "fully confident" in their reporting and calling on the Trump administration to "identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate" in their report.

But the impassioned denials from Trump and Spicer thrust the question of "fake news" — which once referred to the fabricated news stories that circulated during the campaign — back into the news cycle.

Now, Trump and his supporters have co-opted the term to describe any news with which they disagree.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

MORE FROM

Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal bill may be flatlining

Republican leadership is scrambling to convert skeptical senators to let the bill move forward to a final vote.

One of Trump's warmest meetings with a world leader yet was Narendra Modi, an accused fascist

Modi hugged Trump during a White House visit on Monday — a far cry from 2002, when he was accused of massacring Muslims in Gujarat.

Donald Trump is hurting America's image around the world, new Pew Research Center study finds

The leader of the free world apparently has image problems at home AND abroad.

Even Donald Trump's schedule has become a victim of a White House push against transparency

"Unreportable" public schedules, off camera briefings, secret visitor logs ... Where does it end?

The CBO score says 22 million will lose coverage. Here's why it's actually a lot worse than that.

Republicans wrote the bill so that much of the coverage losses wouldn't be captured by the CBO report.

CBO Score: Senate Republican health care bill will cost 22 million people their coverage

That's 1 million fewer than under the House-passed health care bill.

Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal bill may be flatlining

Republican leadership is scrambling to convert skeptical senators to let the bill move forward to a final vote.

One of Trump's warmest meetings with a world leader yet was Narendra Modi, an accused fascist

Modi hugged Trump during a White House visit on Monday — a far cry from 2002, when he was accused of massacring Muslims in Gujarat.

Donald Trump is hurting America's image around the world, new Pew Research Center study finds

The leader of the free world apparently has image problems at home AND abroad.

Even Donald Trump's schedule has become a victim of a White House push against transparency

"Unreportable" public schedules, off camera briefings, secret visitor logs ... Where does it end?

The CBO score says 22 million will lose coverage. Here's why it's actually a lot worse than that.

Republicans wrote the bill so that much of the coverage losses wouldn't be captured by the CBO report.

CBO Score: Senate Republican health care bill will cost 22 million people their coverage

That's 1 million fewer than under the House-passed health care bill.