Fathers of Both Toddlers in Manipulated Anti-CNN Trump Video Go OFF: Was ‘Intentional’ and ‘Disgusting To Watch’


Michael Cisneros and Dan McKenna, parents of the toddlers who were featured in a manipulated video posted by President Donald Trump to mock CNN, spoke out to CNN’s Don Lemon about the “disgusting” video, saying it was an “intentional” play to Trump’s base.

On Friday night’s edition of CNN Tonight, Cisneros and McKenna appeared with their attorney, Ven Johnson, to discuss the video, which has now been removed from Twitter and Facebook. Lemon opened with that news, and a description of the clip.

“OK, so tonight Facebook and Twitter removing a video posted by President Trump,” Lemon said. “It was a crude and misleading edit of a video that went viral last year which shows a black child and white child running to hug each other. The version posted to Trump’s account made it first appear as if the black child was running away from the white child.”

McKenna told Lemon he was “very upset as to what was portrayed and who was portraying this,” and Cisneros went further, telling Lemon “It was just so hurtful to see this video made of love and with the hopes to inspire hope amongst everyone out there. It was, you know, I just — I could not believe what we were watching. And you know, our phone was blowing up with everyone just reaching out for us to let us know.”

He added that “we immediately started acting on it, and tried to, you know, go through the steps — proper steps to have it removed.”

Lemon asked McKenna to react to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s assertion that the video was “funny.”

“The president used a beautiful video of your children to further his political agenda. Did you think it was funny?” he asked.

“Not at all, no,” McKenna said. “I thought it was propaganda, to a base that we really — I was really aghast immediately when I saw it. It was not funny. I did see that press conference earlier, and I just was kind of — I couldn’t understand how someone would share something like that, to think it was funny. Calling — I’m not sure who they were calling, my son racist or what it was. But it’s — it made me very upset.”

Lemon put the same question to Cisneros:

LEMON: Michael, you wanted to weigh in. But I mean, did you think the same way that Dan did, that they were calling his son racist by how the president was portraying a toddler?

CISNEROS: Absolutely. That’s exactly what I think. You know, it was intentional, and it was just disgusting to watch. And for her to say that it was funny, you know, that seems to be their go-to answer now for every, you know, idiotic thing he says, that it’s a joke. And this is not something that we should take lightly, and it is not something that is funny and if you do, then you should re-evaluate yourself.

LEMON: Think about — Dan, if I can just ask you, you know, thinking about what is happening in the world right now, right? And you have a — Michael, you have your son is black. Sorry. So, Michael, you have a black son now. And think about that. He’s, you know, he’s calling Dan’s son racist. And saying your son was running away. And all that is going on in the world right now with racism, and police brutality, and everyone out on the street, like, who would share that and especially the leader of the free world?

CISNEROS: No, absolutely. And I mean, it’s just terrible that the president of the United States is actually joking with something like this. And tweeted this out, you know, to bolster his base. Basically, this is what he’s doing. And on the eve of Juneteenth. I feel like it was calculated, and I feel like it was meant to stir up something that was supposed to be on a beautiful celebrated day.

Attorney Johnson also told Lemon that they are pursuing legal action, possibly against Carpe Donktum, originator of the video.

“Well, Don, we got retained today, and we’re obviously beginning to investigate all of that,” Johnson said. Nothing is off the table. But when you have somebody that is clearly falsifying videos, adding your chyron, CNN, as if you folks came up with this. By the way, and such a great speller couldn’t even spell toddler correctly. But talking about a toddler running from a racist baby, and the racist baby, probably a Trump voter. How that is funny, it’s pathetic, and again Juneteenth being today, likewise with what is going on with our world relative to white police officers shooting and killing especially men of color, it’s not funny.”

“It’s disgusting, 17.2 million views today. I should say, last night, Don, as of 8:12 p.m. according to Twitter with 196,000 retweets, 418,000 likes. So, this is sick. It’s demented, and absolutely we believe that there is potential cause of action against the website, if you will, that did this,” he added.

Watch the clip above via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: