Donald Trump says there will be 'consequences' for Buzzfeed as he attacks CNN and mocks BBC
12 January 2017 • 7:12am
Donald Trump has warned that Buzzfeed will “suffer the consequences” for publishing highly-damaging and unverified accusations about his behaviour in Russia, in a press conference in which he turned on CNN and the BBC, labelling the British media organisation “another beauty”. Mr Trump has been enraged by Buzzfeed’s publishing on Tuesday night of a 35-page document riddled with inaccuracies which suggested that President Vladimir Putin had spied on him for five years.
The president-elect’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, opened a press conference on Wednesday morning by stating: “It's frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile to the president-elect's campaign to drop highly salacious and flat out false information on the internet just days before he takes the oath of office.” Shortly before Buzzfeed published the explosive documents, CNN had published a report on intelligence warnings to Mr Trump, suggesting that in a two-page document the spy chiefs detailed how they were concerned there was “compromising information” held by Russia.
Mr Spicer said: “The fact that Buzzfeed and CNN made the decision to run with this unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks.” Mr Trump was more colourful, calling Buzzfeed “a failing pile of garbage”. He added: “I think they're going to suffer the consequences. They already are. And as far as CNN going out of their way to build it up…” When CNN’s White House correspondent attempted to ask a question, Mr Trump repeatedly shut him down, telling him: “Your organisation is terrible. Quiet. He's asking a question, don't be rude. Don't be rude. Your organisation is terrible. I'm not going to give you a question. I'm not going to give you a question.” When the reporter persisted, Mr Trump said: “You are fake news.” He later tweeted: "We had a great News Conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what's going on."
CNN’s team reacted angrily to Mr Trump’s treatment of their colleague, and issued a statement distancing themselves from Buzzfeed. Jake Tapper, one of the anchors who co-wrote the report, said immediately after, live on air: “When Mr Trump went after our own Jim Acosta saying he is ‘fake news’ and he isn't going to call on him, what I suspect we are seeing here is an attempt to discredit legitimate, responsible attempts to report on this incoming administration with irresponsible journalism that hurts us all - and the media going forward should keep that in mind.”
He added that he did find BuzzFeed’s decision to put “uncorroborated” information on the internet “irresponsible”. “I can understand why President-Elect Trump would be upset about it,” said Tapper. “That's why we did not detail any specifics from it because it was uncorroborated and that's not what we do. We are in the business of sussing out what is true and false.”