President Donald Trump called on CNN, who he routinely insults as 'fake news' at his White House press conference and took a shot at network president Jeff Zucker.
Trump called on CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta, whom he lambasted at a previous press conference, during a performance heavily laced with attacks on the 'dishonest media.'
'Just because of the attack of fake news and attacking our network, I just want to ask you, sir...' Acosta began as he caught Trump's attention.
Trump responded that, 'I'm changing it from fake news, though,' before announcing he would call the network 'very fake news.'
'For the record, we don't hate you, I don't hate you,' Acosta said at the start, apparently attempting to mend fences.
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President Donald Trump labeled CNN 'very fake news' as he took a question from its White House correspondent Jim Acosta . The exchange was at a press conference where he railed against media coverage of his administration
'Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job,' Trump shot back, referencing the network's CEO.
Then Acosta lightened things up by mentioning that he wasn't related to Trump's new labor secretary nominee, Alex Acosta.
'I am not related, sir. No. I do like the sound of Secretary Acosta, I must say.'
Trump responded: 'I looked at that name. I said, wait a minute, is there any relation there? Alex Acosta.'
'I said, 'Do me a favor, go back and check the family tree,' Trump quipped.
Then he lectured: 'But if you were straight, I would be your biggest booster. I would be your biggest fan in the world, including bad stories about me. But if you go - as an example, you're CNN, I mean it's story after story after story is bad. I won. I won. And the other thing, chaos because zero chaos. We are running - this is a fine-tuned machine.'
CNN's Jim Acosta sparred with President Clinton during a White House press conference Thursday
Trump complained that CNN's coverage was filled with 'anger and hatred'
The president bristled at 'illegal' leaks during this press conference, and called the focus on Russia ties a 'ruse'
The the president mentioned the 'Russia scam you guys are building' based on 'illegal leaks,' in reference to reports
Trump continually returned to his gripes about the media, having opened his unexpected press conference with a long harangue about the 'mess' he inherited and the coverage he gets.
'I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it's true and, you know, over a course of time, I'll make mistakes and you'll write badly and I'm OK with that. But I'm not OK when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it's so much anger and hatred and just the hatred,' he said.
Trump went out of his way to praise CNN rival Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
''The tone is such hatred. I'm really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such -- I do get good ratings, you have to admit that -- the tone is such hatred.'
'I watched this morning a couple of the networks,' Trump said. 'And I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning, they're very honorable people. They're very – not because they're good, because they hit me also when I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. That's all I can say. It's the most honest.'
'But the tone, Jim. If you look – the hatred,' Trump complained.
Trump and Acosta clashed at Trump's post-election press conference.
'Not you. Your organization's terrible, Trump told Acosta as he tried to ask a question in January.
'Quiet, quiet ... Don't be rude,' Trump said. 'I'm not gonna give you a question: you are fake news,' Trump said.