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27 Nov 2018

Trump mulls establishing national TV to counter CNN

U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested the establishment of a U.S. national television station to counter what he termed “the unfair and false way” CNN is portraying the country.

Trump, in a tweet, alleged that CNN was not doing great in the U.S. but acknowledged the network “has very little competition” outside the country.

Mr Trump wrote: “While CNN doesn’t do great in the United States based on ratings, outside of the U.S., they have very little competition.

“Throughout the world, CNN has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way.

“Something has to be done, including the possibility of the United States starting our own Worldwide Network to show the World the way we really are, GREAT!”

Mr Trump had in 2017 threatened to shut down NBC and other American networks, saying they peddled fake news.

“With all of the fake news coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their licence? Bad for country!” Mr Trump said.

There had been no love lost between CNN and Mr Trump since the ascension to presidency, and the president had constantly pushed back against the network, which he dubbed “Fake News”.

However, the strained relationship with CNN, which had become Mr Trump’s ardent critic over his policies, had become worse following the midterm election, which Republicans lost the House to the Democrats.

The White House had revoked the press badge of CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta, following heated exchange with President Donald Trump at a press conference on the midterm election.

White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, announced that the decision was a result of Mr Acosta’s behaviour, “for yanking back when a White House intern tried to take his microphone”.

CNN, however, sued the Trump administration, asking the court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass to be returned to Acosta.

A Federal Judge, Timothy Kelly, ruled in favour of CNN, granting the network’s motion for a temporary restraining order, and ordering the White House to temporarily restore the press credentials of the reporter.

Consequent upon the court order, White House restored Mr Acosta’s press pass, writing in a letter to the reporter that it made a “final determination” to give him back his badge.

(NAN)

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