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Trump reignites war with long-time foe CNN, trashes networks while defending Sinclair

Last Updated Apr 3, 2018 11:18 AM EDT

Updated with CNN's response.

President Trump reignited his long-standing spat with CNN and what he calls the "fake news" media in a new round of tweets Tuesday morning. The president claimed that reporters at CNN push an "anti-Trump" agenda and he called out other news organizations like NBC, ABC and CBS News for being "fakers."

The president began his morning by assailing CNN president Jeff Zucker as "little Jeff Zuker" and claiming his job is was in jeopardy. He tweeted that Zucker was "not having much fun lately." And he claimed that people seeking jobs at CNN wouldn't be hired "unless you state that you are totally anti-Trump."

CNN denied the claim and corrected the president's spelling of Zucker's name. "The personal political beliefs of CNN's employees are of no interest to us," CNN tweeted. "Their pursuit of the truth is our only concern. Also, Jeff's last name is spelled Z-U-C-K-E-R."   

CNN also refuted another one of the president's claims - that it is "ratings challenged." "CNN just finished its second highest rated first quarter in the past nine years," it tweeted.

CNN served as a major area of contention for the president over the course of the 2016 campaign and throughout his early days of his presidency. The president often tweets disparaging comments about the network in response to negative coverage. He's gone so far as to retweet a looped video of two wrestlers edited to show the president body-slamming a person with the CNN logo superimposed on his head.

Mr. Trump also called out other "Fake News Networks" for having a "sick and biased agenda" against the president. He again defended Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is currently under fire following the rapid spread of a video showing anchors at its stations across the country reading an identical script criticizing "fake" news stories. Sinclair owns nearly 200 local stations across the country (including a number of CBS affiliates, as well as stations affiliated with ABC, NBC, FOX and CW) and mandates certain aspects of their coverage.

Mr. Trump tweeted that news networks were "worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast." He added, "The 'Fakers' at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!"