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CNN Panel Goes Off the Rails Over Trump’s Attacks on the Press: People on This Network Get Death Threats!

A CNN panel tonight on President Donald Trump standing by Saudi Arabia following Jamal Khashoggi‘s death went off the rails when pro-Trump commentator Steve Cortes downplayed the President’s attacks on the press.

As Angela Rye slammed Trump for his statement, she said that “Donald Trump sees the press more of his enemy than the Saudis because he can put a dollar figure next to it.”

“He is siding and aligning himself with people who have been threatened by the mere questions, threatened by the mere seeking of accountability of folks in power,” she argued. “And he has already made it very clear with folks who also sit on this network that the press is his greatest enemy. That is the truth, and that is a painful pill that y’all don’t want to swallow.”

Cortes shot back, “And all he has done is criticize the press. He has not done one thing to infringe upon the freedom of the press in this country.”

Rye immediately went off on him and interjected, “I’m sorry. Jim Acosta. Jim Acosta. Jim Acosta. April Ryan. Abby Phillip. Yamiche Alcindor. Are you kidding me?!”

Cortes argued that they’re still allowed to “say whatever they want” about Trump. Rye shot back by bringing up the recent fight over Acosta’s press pass, and Cortes––a CNN commentator––said Acosta was disciplined for “poor behavior.”

He called it “fake news” to say Trump is abusing freedom of the press, saying “you cannot compare him to MBS or anybody in the House of Saud––whoever it was––who ordered the murder of a journalist.”

Cuomo and Rye shot back that press freedom can still be infringed upon even if journalists aren’t being murdered in the United States. Cortes said Trump’s just using his words, but Rye fired back, “Time out! He’s actually put people’s lives in danger! Do you know there are people who sit on this network who are getting death threats because of your president’s rhetoric?! That is the truth.”

Cortes said he himself receives death threats “because of the left, because of antifa.”

Cuomo jumped in and asked, “Is that why that guy sent me a bomb? Is that why we have bombs sent here, because of antifa?”

“Are you saying that antifa’s not violent?” Cortes asked.

“I’m saying that’s not who sent the bomb to my office, Steve!” Cuomo cried. “When somebody threatens you and your family and your safety, I hope that the first thing that comes to mind is, ‘Well, you know, there are bad things that other people do too. I guess I won’t take it too personally.'”

You can watch the whole thing above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac