BY KEN THOMAS
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump quickly responded to the firing of “Today” show host Matt Lauer on Wednesday, saying executives at NBC and Comcast should be “fired for putting out so much Fake News.”
Trump tweeted: “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News.”
He then called out the NBC News chairman, adding: “Check out Andy Lack’s past!” It was not immediately clear what that comment referred to. NBC declined to comment on Trump’s tweets.
NBC, which is owned by Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., announced Wednesday that it had terminated Lauer after receiving a “detailed complaint” from a colleague about sexual misconduct. Lauer’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, made the announcement at the top of the “Today” show.
Trump’s comment on “Fake News” was a reiteration of his long-standing grievances with mainstream news outlets that he contends have covered his presidency unfairly and inaccurately. Trump, who often judges stories he doesn’t like to be fake news, has said that he has a “running war with the media.”
The tweets seeking to undermine mainstream news outlets have been a mainstay of his first year in office and come amid tensions over a traditional White House holiday party.
CNN announced Tuesday night that the network’s reporters would not be attending Friday’s White House Christmas party, an annual tradition in which reporters and administration officials can interact in a more relaxed setting.
“In light of the President’s continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests,” the network said in a statement, adding that they intended to send “a White House reporting team to the event” to report on any news. A spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about what that meant.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the news with a celebratory tweet.
“Christmas comes early! Finally, good news from @CNN,” she wrote Tuesday.
Trump piled on Wednesday morning: “Great, and we should boycott Fake News CNN. Dealing with them is a total waste of time!”
Over the weekend, Trump had gone after CNN International on Twitter, saying that the network was “a major source of (Fake) news” outside the U.S. and complaining that they “represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly.”
“The outside world does not see the truth from them!” he wrote.
It was an especially pointed attack on a news organization that prides itself on its international coverage and that has dozens of staffers positioned in hot spots around the globe. CNN tweeted back that “it’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S. to the world. That’s yours. Our job is to report the news.”
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