CNN’s “New Day” opened Friday with news of a bomb scare which briefly resulted in the evacuation of the network’s New York bureau the previous night, with anchor John Berman calling out President Trump over a tweet blasting the media issued just moments before the incident.
“Before the building was evacuated, the president put out a statement, ‘fake news, the enemy of the people,’” Berman said. “That was not the cause of the threat. That came before his statement. He didn’t seem to know about the threat, but what is clear is that while this building was empty — with law enforcement making sure it didn’t blow up — there was this statement out there from the president attacking the press.”
Berman insisted that the CNN team would continue to report and said the best response to such threats would be to do the news. A statement from CNN boss Jeff Zucker issued early Friday morning thanked law enforcement for their prompt response but also pointedly avoided mentioning Trump or suggesting that the president’s anti-CNN rhetoric was responsible.
On Thursday evening, CNN and its home in New York’s Time Warner Center was evacuated after a call was received saying that there were up to five bomb located in the building. Anchor Don Lemon and his show abruptly cut out and were replaced by previously recorded footage of Anderson Cooper for about an hour. When Lemon returned he and Brian Stelter — who had been in a nearby Whole Foods store — reported from the street.
“About an hour ago, a call was made from the south … into the CNN offices in New York saying that there were several bombs inside of the building,” Lemon said. Police ultimately ruled the matter a false alarm and gave an all-clear for the building shortly before midnight Thursday.
It’s the second time in less than eight weeks that CNN’s New York headquarters has been the target of a bomb threat. On Oct. 24, an actual pipe bomb was mailed to CNN resulting in a similar of evacuation of the building that morning. The bomb was part of a spate of mail bombs sent out to prominent Democratic politicians and Trump critics over a weeklong period that month.
After that incident, CNN’s Jeff Zucker offered a far more robust statement, placing the blame squarely on President Trump’s rhetoric.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter,” Zucker said. “Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”