Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., defended President Trump’s tweets from over the weekend that called CNN International a “major source of (Fake) news” and explained why many Republicans distrust CNN’s reporting.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer pressed Graham on Tuesday about whether he was concerned about the Libyan media questioning the credibility of a CNN report on Libyan slave auctions after seeing Trump’s tweet.
“Well, I think the President feels like that CNN and every other major news outlet in this country is just unfair to the point of being over-the-top unfair,” Graham said in response. “I think there's some truth to that. But you're a good news organization.”
Graham then noted that the reporting on the Libyan slave auctions was “well done” and said he hoped Trump knew the report was “real.”
“But you've got to understand, too, that if you're President Trump, you can't turn on CNN or any other news network in the country without somebody beating the hell out of him,” Graham added. “And I guess that wears on him.”
“But that's the nature of a free press,” Blitzer said. “That's our responsibility, to report the news honestly and fairly. And not just do whatever a president or any world leader wants.”
“I'm not suggesting that you report the news in a way that you think is unfair, but let’s be honest about this. MSNBC and CNN is just 24 hours a day that Trump did something wrong and stupid. And also good news reporting on Fox, he's always right. So the bottom line is, you've got to understand why most Republicans don't trust CNN.”
President Trump frequently attacks CNN and took to Twitter on Saturday to attack CNN International specifically.
“.@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly,” Trump tweeted. “The outside world does not see the truth from them!”
.@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2017
Trump also tweeted Monday that networks and CNN should have a contest to determine which outlet is the most “dishonest” in their coverage of him. He said the winner would receive a “fake news trophy.”
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017