CNN responds to wrestling tweet, says its a “sad day” when the President promotes violence

Donald Trump
FILE - In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during an energy roundtable with tribal, state and local leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump’s latest tweets attacking a female TV host would get him fired, or at least reprimanded if he was a regular person or even regular CEO. Of course, he isn’t. But experts say it’s a mistake to think that because the president is getting away with sending out crude tweets, others would too. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(CNN)-  On Sunday morning the president’s personal Twitter account, which has 33 million followers, posted a 28-second video of a WWE broadcast. The video was edited to show Trump beating up a man with a CNN logo on his face.

A short time later, the official @POTUS Twitter account retweeted Trump’s tweet to its 19 million followers.

Related: Mock video shows Pres. Trump slamming man with face covered by CNN logo

Before becoming president, Trump sometimes appeared at WWE matches and occasionally joined in the fighting. So it was relatively easy for someone to tweak the old video and superimpose the CNN logo onto the other fighter’s face.

Who edited the anti-CNN video? There was no immediate answer, but a version of the video appeared on a pro-Trump Reddit thread several days ago.

The CNN public relations department responded to the president with a tweet that quoted his own deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Three days ago Sanders said: “The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.”

In a statement, CNN said called it a “sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters.”

“Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so,” CNN’s statement continued. “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 behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

Related: Scarborough and Brzezinski say White House used National Enquirer as threat

Sunday’s video was part of an escalating anti-media campaign by the president.

CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post have been some of the targets.

On Saturday Trump tweeted that he wants to rebrand “Fake News CNN” as “Fraud News CNN.”

Sunday’s video reiterated that message with a Photoshopped “FNN” logo.

The video was immediately scrutinized on social media and television.

Some commentators, especially those inclined to support Trump, laughed at the video and savored the president’s latest media critique.

Others derided the video as juvenile and unbecoming of the U.S. president.

Infographic: Trump tweets and the TV news stories behind them

Some media figures expressed real concern that the video could encourage violence against journalists.

“It’s not just anti-CNN. It’s anti-freedom of the press,” CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein said on “Reliable Sources” on Sunday. “It’s very disturbing. There’s nothing lighthearted about it whatsoever.”

Bernstein, who with Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal as a reporter for the Washington Post in the 1970s, noted that Trump praised campaign coverage that was critical of Hillary Clinton.

“When it suits him, it’s great news,” Bernstein said. “When it doesn’t, it’s fake news.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Ana Navarro called Trump’s tweet “an incitement to violence. He is going to get someone killed in the media.” Navarro, a Republican who is fiercely critical of the president, is a commentator on both CNN and ABC.

Earlier on ABC, anchor Martha Raddatz asked Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert to react to the video.

“No one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t,” he said.