Donald Trump in angry exchange with CNN reporter after President-elect refuses question

It was the President-elect's first news conference in more than six months 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Wednesday 11 January 2017 18:19 GMT
Donald Trump in angry exchange with CNN reporter after President-elect refuses question

Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN - the organisation that had reported US intelligence officials had briefed the tycoon about unverified claims about his relationship with Russia.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that officials had provided a summary of a dossier of information that was apparently generated by political opponents. The information claimed Mr Trump had been compromised by “salacious” information about his personal and business dealings in Russia.

Mr Trump had tweeted that the claims were not correct and amount to nothing more than “fake news”. At a news conference he refused to take a question from CNN. He also criticised BuzzFeed News, which had published the allegations in their entirety.

“You are fake news,” Mr Trump told reporter Jim Acosta.

Mr Trump said that BuzzFeed, which had published 35-pages of claims and accusations about the President-elect it said it could not verify, as a "failing piece of garbage".

US President-elect Donald Trump on recent allegations

“I think they’re going to suffer the consequences,” he added. “They already are.”

Mr Acosta, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, tried to ask Mr Trump to address him. “Since you’re attacking our news organisation, will you give us a question," he said.

Mr Trump responded: “Not you. No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”

CNN later released a statement in response to the tycoon's claims, saying that he was using “using BuzzFeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organisations.”

"CNN’s decision to publish carefully-sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than BuzzFeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this," it said.

"We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week.

"We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticised our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”

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