CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta accused President Donald Trump of “exploiting children” by sharing a satirical video on social media this week, leading White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to remind the journalist that his own employer was forced to pay up for actually smearing a kid using a fake news narrative.
What are the details?
On Thursday, President Trump shared a clearly satirical video on Twitter making fun of CNN’s reputation for consistently presenting stories in an anti-Trump spin. The clip begins with a white toddler chasing a black toddler with made-up CNN chryons such as “TERRIFIED TODDLER RUNS FROM RACIST BABY” and “RACIST BABY PROBABY A TRUMP VOTER.”
The video then cuts to “what actually happened,” and shows the two adorable tikes embracing.
Acosta brought up the video during a White House press briefing on Friday, asking McEnany, “Why is the president sharing fake videos on Twitter about two toddlers who are obviously showing a lot of love for one another? It seems as though he’s exploiting children to make some sort of crass political point.”
“He was making a point about CNN, specifically,” the press secretary replied. “He was making a point that CNN has regularly taken him out of context, that in 2019 CNN misleading aired a clip from one viewpoint repeatedly to falsely accuse the Covington boys of being ‘students in MAGA gear harassing a Native American elder.'”
“That’s a harassing video, a misleading video about children that had really grave consequences for their future,” McEnany added, in a reminder to Acosta that CNN settled a $275 million defamation suit brought by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandman.
Acosta pressed, “So, you’re saying it’s OK to exploit two toddlers hugging one another on a sidewalk to make some sort of political point,” and asked, “When you share fake videos like that, doesn’t that make you fake news?”
McEnany explained, “I think the president was making a satirical point that was quite funny if you go and actually watch the video. The point is, it was a play on CNN repeatedly taking the president out of context.”