News & Politics

Trump Claims Victory Over 'Fake News CNN' in Wake of Project Veritas Video

President-elect Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Project Veritas released a new video Tuesday, revealing CNN management officers discussing the network’s decision to cover the Russia story despite a lack of evidence. President Donald Trump responded Tuesday morning, declaring the video proof that he was right to attack CNN as “fake news.”

“Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!” the president tweeted.

While the video is indeed embarrassing to CNN, there have been no reports of management changes in the works, and it is too early to say whether or not CNN’s ratings will decline as a result of the videos.

Trump also did not stop with CNN. “So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!” the president declared.

The Project Veritas video shows CNN producer John Bonifield admitting on tape that the Russia story was all about ratings and “mostly bullsh*t.”

“I mean, it’s mostly bullsh*t right now,” Bonifield says. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof.” He goes on to say that “all the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords,” the CNN producer explained. “And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”

Tellingly, Bonifield actually says, “I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

This video is an unmitigated disaster for CNN, and Project Veritas announced that it is only part one of its “American Pravda” video series going undercover at American mainstream media outlets.

Trump was very vindicated in the exchange, as he has attacked CNN as “fake news” and “very fake news” for months. Indeed, just this past weekend, CNN deleted and was forced to retract a story claiming that Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci met with Russian figures. CNN fired three journalists responsible for the story on Tuesday morning.

Perhaps Trump’s reference to a staff shake-up was meant to refer to this firing, or perhaps it was meant to suggest Bonifield will lose his job as a result of the video. Trump was shooting from the hip, and while some of his facts are not (yet) quite right, they were clearly on message for his bolstered “fake news” narrative.

Click “Load More” to watch the Project Veritas video.