'Beneath the dignity of the office': CNN responds to Trump rant calling anchors a 'lunatic,' the 'dumbest person in broadcasting'

Donald TrumpGetty ImagesDonald Trump

For months, President Donald Trump has taken almost every possible on-the-record chance to slam news media outlets that he feels are portraying him unfairly by writing or broadcasting negative stories about his administration.

But his comments to Time Magazine in an interview published Thursday were particularly colourful and pointed. He took aim at a number of prominent critics, including “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert and “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.

And the president took precise aim at CNN, singling out anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, hosts generally on television at the times of day — early morning and late night — Trump generally tunes in.

“Chris Cuomo, he’s sitting there like a chained lunatic,” Trump said. “He’s like a boiler ready to explode, the level of hatred. And the entire, you know the entire CNN platform is that way. This Don Lemon — who’s perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting.”

A CNN spokesperson responded in a statement Thursday afternoon, saying Trump’s “comments are beneath the dignity of the office of the president.”

The rant didn’t seem to bother Lemon — on Twitter, he retweeted and liked several articles with headlines directly calling him the dumbest person in broadcasting.

Though CNN often faced criticism during the 2016 Republican primary for saturating coverage of Trump’s bid, the network has been responsible for some of the most consequential reporting about Trump’s potential ties to Russia. And some of its anchors — including Cuomo and Lemon — have intensely questioned Trump White House staffers and surrogates on their programs.

Despite his former friendship with network president Jeff Zucker, Trump has frequently criticised CNN, which regularly fact-checks and responds to his own comments about the network.

A representative for Colbert didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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