Fox News anchor Shepard Smith defended CNN on Wednesday after Donald Trump accused the network of being “faking news” at a news conference for reporting on the existence of a Russian dossier of unverified allegations about the president-elect.
“President-elect Trump today told CNN’s Jim Acosta that his organization amounts to fake news. CNN’s exclusive reporting on the Russian matter was separate and distinctly different from the document dump executed by an online news property,” Smith said, drawing a distinction between CNN’s reporting and that of BuzzFeed News, which released the entire contents of the Russian dossier.
“Though we at Fox News cannot confirm CNN’s report, it is our observation that its correspondents followed journalistic standards,” Smith said. “Neither they, nor any other journalists, should be subjected to belittling and delegitimizing by the president-elect of the United States.”
Earlier in the day, CNN released a statement responding to Trump’s allegation that CNN is “fake news” during his first press conference as president-elect.
“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 network said. “The Trump team knows this. They are using BuzzFeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations.”
“We are fully confident in our reporting,” the statement continued. “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 criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”
Trump scolded the network during his press conference on Wednesday and refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“Your organization is terrible, don’t be rude,” the president-elect said. “No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
Trump accused CNN of reporting details from a 35-page intelligence document that the reporters were not able to independently corroborate.