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Donald Trump Beats Down CNN And Buzzfeed at Riveting Press Conference Over Fake News
Donald Trump shown conducting business in his car
President-Elect Donald Trump Hammers CNN
President-Elect Donald Trump came out swinging at CNN and Buzzfeed as he held his first press conference of 20017. Evidently angered by inaccurate articles regarding his aide Michael Cohen and himself, Trump refused to take a question from CNN. The CNN reporter yelled, "If you're going to be critical of us, give us a question!" When Trump responded by telling the CNN representative to not be rude and to let someone else ask a question, the CNN journalist persisted in badgering the billionaire about taking a question from him.
Trump continued to refuse any questions from CNN on this day of high drama based partly on a story which claimed the President-Elect's lawyer Michael Cohen attended a meeting in August in Prague with Russian officials. CNN and Buzzfeed used the articles to argue Trump and Russia had secret communications. Trump officials denounced the two news outlets later saying Cohen's man had never been to Prague.
Was Trump aide Michael Cohen in Prague with Russians?
Trump exploded at his press conference that after he heard the reports on CNN alleging Cohen was in Prague, he asked his attorney about it. Cohen later explained on Fox News that he'd never been to Prague in his life, much less met with the Russians there. Trump explained he asked Cohen to see his passport. There was no reference to Cohen traveling to Prague at any time in his life. CNN today admitted they were incorrect in their story and that it was a different Michael Cohen who was in Prague than the man who worked for Trump.
Trump Tweets To Circumvent News Media
Trump tweeted frequently during his campaign and since the election. Why does he do this? He claims it's because some elements of the news media are dishonest and will not report him accurately. The only way he can eliminate the middle man (mainstream news media) is to express his thoughts through tweeting. If CNN and Buzzfeed actually did run innacurate articles about Cohen being in Prague, then one can begin to understand Trump's frustration with the media.
Donald Trump and Mitt Romney Together
Were Russians Or Americans Source of Michael Cohen Stories
While the Russians have been battered recently for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Convention computers as well as John Podesta's and Hillary Clinton's, Judge Napolitano today speculated it was an American agency and not the Russians who were behind it. Napolitano said Americans had lost their lives around the world because of Clinton's recklessness with her emails. Based on that, the American intelligence agency was willing to do a lot to prevent Hillary from being elected president in order to save the lives of their agents. Democratic Party sources and two Republicans have insisted on pounding the Russians on the issue. Trump said he believes the Democrats are blaming the Russians to attack the legitimacy of his stunning election win against Clinton. The Republican Senators siding with the Democrats are Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona.
McCain today further admitted he was the person who passed on the stories of Cohen being in Prague and the Russians having blackmail on Trump to the intelligence communities in the U.S. McCain doesn't like Trump and there are those in Washington who have wondered at his motives in passing on such scurrilous rumors to the intelligence community.
One Trump supporter today though defended McCain, saying he probably did the right thing in passing on the inacurate rumors if he felt they were serious..
Will Donald Trump Change Press Conferences?
In view of CNN's overt hostility to Trump, several observers have said today Trump should consider changing the protocol for press conferences. Rather than allow the same so called "elite" media such as CNN, the Washington Post and others from having regular front row seats, Trump might want to rotate the several hundred members of the press corp to give access to other reporters. Many newspapers and media outlets from outside Washington D.C. fly correspondents into the nation's capitol to take part in the press conferences. Why not allow some sources who might be less hostile to Trump take over the seats of those who have an agenda to destroy Trump's administration?
Hackers claim credit for CNN, Buzzfeed Stories
Later today (Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017), several hackers have said they were responsible for planting the inaccurate stories of Cohen meeting with Russians in Prague and Trump being subjected to possible blackmail from the former Soviet Union. How these inaccurate reports found their way into an intelligence report is alarming when one considers CNN reported all 17 intelligence services stood behind the report. James Clapper called Trump and apologized to him today which may have been a first. Clapper has never been a fan of Trump's and was appointed to his post by a Democrat.
The fact even Clapper felt compelled to walk back part of his report, is amazing after he so staunchly for weeks now has claimed the reports had "high confidence" ratings.
The fact that even the intelligence agencies are now conceding their are flaws in their reports, leads some credence to Trump's contention some of the agencies have been politicized after eight years under the same administration.
Wikileaks has all along denied they received any information from the Russians and Wikileaks has never been proven to be inaccurate in any of its stories. Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, criticized the reports as not following the proper protocol for intelligence briefings or reports. Several other observers have agreed, stating much of the information doesn't follow a normal intelligence protocol.
Ari Fleischer Says Media Hatred Of Trump Amazing
Ari Fleischer, former press aide to George W. Bush, said the hostility of the media to Trump, is something of a record. He recalled that even when the media was attacking his boss Bush, they were never this brutal. He went on to say the media loved President Barack Obama, and basically never asked him challenging questions. One report went so far as to ask Obama if he was "enchanted" with being president. Fox analyst Sean Hannity said today "journalism has died." He said one of his reasons for saying this was that outlets such as CNN don't even pretend to be objective anymore.
Many observers have pointed to the days of Walter Cronkite as a golden era of journalism. Cronkite was a staunch Democrat and close to John F. Kennedy. However, he appeared objective during his news reports for CBS and reported his stories straight down the line showing favoritism to neither party. A listener couldn't tell what Cronkite's beliefs were.
'Failing Pile Of Garbage'
Trump Wednesday referred to Buzzfeed as a "falling pile of garbage" and CNN as "fake news." It was CNN's Jim Acosta who went head to head with the president-elect in a heated exchange. Acosta claimed he was almost escorted from the room. His cohort Jake Tapper at CNN said he felt sorry for Acosta and defended his network's running of the article on Trump and the alleged Russians' blackmail and Cohen being in Prague. The Cohen who was in Prague was from a difference country than the United States, although he was born in the same year, though not on the same date at Trump's adviser.
For his part, Cohen said the inaccurate reporting didn't bother him. But he said it did hurt his family members, which he did resent. Cohen went on to say he was happy to be a part of Trump's inner circle who was always loyal and was glad the story illustrated the inaccuray of elements of the news media today.