President Trump on Sunday tweeted a modified video of a wrestling match between himself and his media rival CNN. 

The tweet escalates an ongoing war of rhetoric between the president of the United States and the cable news outlet. The video appears to show Trump attacking and subduing a figure whose face is obscured by a CNN logo.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017

The video Trump tweeted is from WrestleMania 23 in 2007 when Trump competed versus WWE head Vince McMahon during a staged “battle of the billionaires” fight where each chose one wrestler to represent them.


Trump’s wrestler also won that match, and McMahon was required to shave his head after the loss. In a staged TV moment, Trump “bodyslammed” McMahon and then helped shave his head. The unmodified video is available on YouTube.

McMahon is also Trump’s now-Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon’s husband.

Trump tweeted the video with the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, apparently his new name for the network. He previewed the name in another tweet on Saturday. 

I am thinking about changing the name #FakeNews CNN to #FraudNewsCNN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2017

The video immediately revived questions about whether Trump’s anti-media rhetoric is encouraging violence against the media.

Last week, when Trump tweeted a personal attack against female MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski – he accused her of having a face lift and being low IQ – the White House’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders was forced to defend the president’s tweets.

“The president in no way, form, or fashion has ever encouraged any form of violence,” she said in a press briefing.

Although Trump frequently critiques the news media for peddling “fake news” and negative coverage of him, CNN has been a frequent and favorite target. 

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that CNN had “been exposed” for propagating fake news and “garbage journalism,” after it retracted an article last week claiming that Senate investigators were probing a Russian bank with ties to a top Trump ally.

That retraction, and the subsequent resignations of three top journalists at the network, has been hailed by Trump in recent days as validation of his ongoing assertions that he’s been treated unfairly by the news media.

– This post was updated at 10:10 a.m.

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