President Elect Donald Trump put the news media on notice at his press conference in New York on Wednesday with a comment about BuzzFeed, which posted an unverified dossier about his alleged entanglements with Russia on Tuesday night. When asked what he meant when he asked “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” in a tweet a few hours earlier, he gave a vague answer before making an ominous statement about the “consequences” that BuzzFeed will face over the report.
“As far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage — writing [the article about the dossier] — think they’re going to suffer the consequences,” he said. “They already are. As far as CNN going out of their way to build it up, and, by the way, we just found out it was coming down.” He then outlined how it’s being widely disputed that his lawyer, Michael Cohen, is the Michael Cohen who was in Prague for an alleged meeting mentioned in the dossier, before adding that “it’s a disgrace, and I think they ought to apologize, to start with, [to] Michael Cohen.”
Media Twitter was concerned by the “consequences” line, to say the least, with this tweet from Igor Volsky of CAP Action being widely retweeted:
A president saying news organization is "going to suffer the consequences" for printing something he doesn't like is FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) January 11, 2017
UPDATE 3:23 PM ET: Buzzfeed’s CEO dismissed Trump’s criticism, stating that they “are not going to these divisive comments.” Meanwhile, following a statement by CNN distancing its report from Buzzfeed’s publication of the dossier, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said he wasn’t “going to divide media against each other.
[Photo: CNN screen grab]
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