WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump launched a fresh attack on the news media yesterday by tweeting a video - which was bizarre even by his standards - showing him knocking down and beating a professional wrestling "villain" whose face had been replaced by a CNN logo.
The 10-year-old video, filmed during Mr Trump's days as a guest celebrity at pro-wrestling events, came after a week in which his unrestrained Twitter attacks on two MSNBC talk show hosts drew widespread condemnation from members of both political parties.
In the 28-second video, Mr Trump, dressed in a suit, is seen knocking down another man in a suit who is standing next to a wrestling ring. Mr Trump then pummels the man, whose face is covered by the CNN logo, repeatedly over the head.
At the end of the video, a fake CNN logo appears at the lower right corner of the screen with the words "FNN: Fraud News Network".
A longer version of the same video found online shows that the man knocked down was World Wrestling Entertainment owner- promoter Vince McMahon, a friend of Mr Trump's.
Mr Trump has recently picked up the pace of his attacks on the news media. Besides the crude personal attack on MSNBC co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski - he called her "crazy" and with "low I.Q.", and said he had seen her bleeding after a facelift - he also launched a Twitter tirade against media organisations last Saturday.
He said he was thinking of calling CNN #FraudNewsCNN, instead of #FakeNewsCNN which he had been using, and defended his aggressive use of Twitter.
"The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media," he tweeted.
"My use of social media is not Presidential - it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!" Mr Trump posted.
The President also accused US secretaries of state of trying to hide something from a panel investigating widespread voter fraud that experts say never happened.
Mr Trump set up the Presidential Advisory Commission On Voter Integrity to find evidence for his debunked claim that millions of votes were cast illegally in the presidential election last year.
Last Wednesday, the group sent a letter to all 50 secretaries of state asking for personal data of the nation's 200 million voters. The response from many of the state voting officials was a resounding "no". The commission chairman said it was up to each state to decide what information to share with the panel.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES