Just a day after defending his use of social media as "modern day presidential", Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday (2 June) to post an edited video clip that showed him violently beating up a man with a CNN logo superimposed on his face. The 28-second modified video comes from a WrestleMania 23 match back in 2007 dubbed "The Battle of the Billionaires" and shows him "pummeling" WWE chairman Vince McMahon in a scripted appearance.
The tweet included the hashtags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN.
The president's latest post comes as part of Trump's long-running feud with CNN and the mainstream media, whose content he has often referred to as "fake news".
"It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters," CNN said in a statement. "Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his."
CNN also referred to White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sander's remarks defending the president's use of Twitter last week in which she denied that Trump has ever promoted violence.
"The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence," Huckabee Sanders said during a press conference last week. "If anything, quite the contrary."
Last week, Trump crudely lashed out against MSNBC co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough in a series of tweets claiming that he once refused to meet with "crazy" Brzezinski because she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift".
Trump's controversial use of the social media platform to attack critics, individuals and businesses has long triggered calls for his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle to be banned.
Twitter users expressed their shock, horror and anger over Trump's latest post, with many calling for him to be removed under the 25th Amendment. Social media users decried the video as a disturbing and frightening "degradation of the dignity of the presidency".
"The same man who made this tweet also controls our country's nuclear codes," one Twitter user wrote. Another tweeted: "Donald, you're too damn old to be acting like a child. America should be embarrassed."
Many journalists also stood in solidarity with CNN following the tweeted video, which many said "glorified" violence against the media.
Matt Small, a radio producer for the Associated Press, tweeted: "Promoting violence against journalists won't solve any of your problems, Mr. President."
"How the f**k are you a president," Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui tweeted.