Watch CBSN Live

Trump denies report that he privately calls Rod Rosenstein "Mr. Peepers"

Rep. Gowdy on Rosenstein

President Trump tweeted Saturday to defend himself from a Washington Post report claiming, among other things, that he privately calls Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "Mr. Peepers," an old television character. Mr. Trump also denied that he calls Attorney General Jeff Sessions "Mr. Magoo," another old television character.

Mr. Trump did not respond to the more substantive focus of the article, which claims Sessions told White House counsel Don McGahn last week he might heave to leave his job if the president were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 

"The Washington Post said I refer to Jeff Sessions as 'Mr. Magoo' and Rod Rosenstein as 'Mr. Peepers.' This is 'according to people with whom the president has spoken.' There are no such people and don't know these characters...just more Fake & Disgusting News to create ill will!" Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon. 

The sitcom "Mister Peepers" aired for three seasons in the 1950s, while Mr. Magoo was wealthy, stout cartoon character who also appeared on television in the 1950s.

That wasn't Mr. Trump's first attack on the press on Saturday. In the morning, he sent a series of tweets denouncing the New York Times' star reporter Maggie Haberman and the publication as a whole. On Friday, Haberman and other New York Times reporters wrote that Cohen could turn against Mr. Trump as he faces a federal criminal investigation over his business dealings. 

Mr. Trump on Saturday called Haberman a "third-rate reporter," saying she and the publication are going "out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will 'flip.'" Mr. Trump accused Haberman and other New York Times reporters of making up sources, and speaking to a "drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael." He didn't substantiate those claims. Mr. Trump also said he doesn't see Cohen flipping.

"Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!" he tweeted.