Trump mocks CNN by making bizarre wrestling video
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has taken his "war on the media" to a bizarre new level, tweeting a doctored, 10-year-old video of him "body slamming" CNN.
The US leader shared the odd video on Sunday of him launching at a figure whose face was obscured by a CNN logo.
Mr Trump pinned the figure to the ground and punched him repeatedly next to a wrestling ring.
The president tweeted the bizarre edit job with the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, apparently his new name for the network. He previewed the name in another tweet on Saturday.
The original, unedited clip was filmed at WrestleMania 23 in 2007. It showed Mr Trump pummelling World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon during a "Battle of the Billionaires" stunt.
Mr McMahon is the husband of Linda McMahon, who heads Mr Trump's Small Business Administration.
The doctored clip was first shared on Reddit, before being tweeted out by Mr Trump.
Trump 'beats up' Vince McMahon
In a statement on Twitter, CNN recalled comments from White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week that the president doesn't condone violence against the media.
"'The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary.' - @SHSanders45 6/29/17," the CNN tweet said.
CNN's Jim Acosta immediately hit out at Mr Trump's video, tweeting: "Isn't pro wrestling fake?"
Donald Trump Jr. retorted: "Yes, just like your coverage."
The president frequently takes aim at CNN and The New York Times, often referring to the TV network as "fake news" and the newspaper as "failing".
Three CNN staffers resigned last week after the network retracted a story linking a Trump ally to a Russian investment bank, as well as potential lay-offs at The New York Times.
My use of social media is not Presidential - it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
It comes a day after Mr Trump raged on Twitter that his use of social media was "modern day presidential".
The New York businessman drew broad condemnation for his Thursday tweets in which he called a female TV anchor "crazy" and saying she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he saw her at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.
The vicious personal attack was slammed as sexist and vulgar by many Democrats and Republicans.
Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich called Mr Trump's tweets "unacceptable".
"We've seen this for quite a while. You know, it's unfortunate and people are now begging the president not to do this, and you know you got to stop doing it," he told America's ABC. "We'll have to see what happens. It's one of the few things that I think has brought Republicans and Democrats together."
While such tirades may not be associated with traditional standards of presidential statesmanship, Mr Trump insists it's all part of his plan to make America great again.
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017
Meanwhile, White House aide Sebastian Gorka has claimed that mainstream news media are losing influence, citing the CNN resignations.
"To those supporters of the Trump administration who are worried by all the fake news reporting of the last 23 weeks, I can assure you, just ignore it," Mr Gorka, who serves as deputy assistant to President Trump, said in a radio interview on Sunday,
"The fake news complex is collapsing in on itself. We see that with the massive scandal at CNN, having to fire people who were generating totally false stories about the administration. We see that with the severe personnel cuts at The New York Times."