CNN on Wednesday fired back at President Trump for his comments lashing out at the network, writing on Twitter that “CNN does not lie.”
The comments from came shortly after Trump stepped up his attacks against CNN and veteran reporter Carl Berstein over a July report about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
“Make no mistake, Mr. President, CNN does not lie,” the official Twitter account for CNN Communications tweeted late Wednesday. “We report the news. And we report when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but @carlbernstein is not one of them.”
Trump earlier on Wednesday tweeted that CNN “is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake.”
“Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News,” Trump tweeted about the July report.
Bernstein, known for helping uncover the Nixon-era Watergate scandal, co-wrote an article for CNN in July, reporting that Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, was willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump knew about a June 2016 meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, later confirmed in a Washington Post report that he was the source for the story, walking back his claim that Cohen knew Trump was aware of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
“I regret not being much clearer in saying I’m not sure about this story,” Davis, who is an opinion contributor at The Hill, told NBC News.
CNN has said it stands by its story, despite Davis undercutting at least part of the reporting. But Trump and his allies have used Davis’s comments in recent days to attack the network and its reporting on the Trump Tower meeting.
Bernstein also responded to the president’s attack, tweeting at Trump that he stands by his reporting and “no taunt will diminish [his] commitment” to “bringing the truth to light.”
“I have spent my life as a journalist bringing the truth to light, through administrations of both parties,” Bernstein tweeted. “No taunt will diminish my commitment to that mission, which is the essential role of a free press. [CNN] stands by its story, and I stand by my reporting.”
On Sunday, Trump Jr. claimed that CNN was “covering for leftist hack” Bernstein by standing by the story.
“Comical to watch @CNN covering for leftist hack @carlbernstein,” the president’s eldest son tweeted. “He & Obama staffer @jimsciutto obviously got story wrong. CNN ‘stands by’ it anyway, defending literal fake news. 3 ‘reporters’ were fired for false CNN hit on [former White House communications director Anthony] Scaramucci & this is FAR worse!”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made similar remarks Wednesday in an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
“What people will say on text and in emails or to their friends and their family members and certainly what they say on TV is fundamentally different than when you’re under oath. I think Lanny Davis (Cohen’s attorney) discovered that recently as well, as has CNN,” Conway said.