CNN's Jeff Zucker on Trump Taunts: "We’re Not Going to Let Him Intimidate Us"

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Jeff Zucker

Zucker said that the recent attacks from the White House have caused the network to "take steps that you wouldn’t think would be necessary because of the actions of the president of the United States."

Days after President Donald Trump tweeted a video of himself "beating up" a man with the CNN logo superimposed over his head, CNN chief Jeff Zucker is making it clear that he will not back down. 

"He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can't lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves," Zucker told The New York Times in an interview on Wednesday. 

Ramping up his war on "fake news," specifically CNN, Trump posted the 28-second long video Sunday from his 2007 appearance at a World Wrestling Entertainment event, which originally saw Trump "fighting" WWE owner Vince McMahon.

It was discovered later that the video originated from Reddit user HanA**holeSolo, though CNN chose not to release the user's real name to the public. 

“My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job," Zucker told the Times, which also reported that the network had to tighten security measures for employees. 

Zucker said that the recent attacks from the White House have caused the network to "take steps that you wouldn’t think would be necessary because of the actions of the president of the United States."

When asked why the president would target CNN above other news outlets (like the Times itself, which Trump has also criticized on occasion), Zucker responded: “Television is his preferred medium. And he knows our viewers can be swayed because they’re not watching Fox or MSNBC." 

CNN's PR team originally responded to Trump's weekend tweets in a statement: "It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, [White House spokeswoman] Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so. Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, ‎dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

This is certainly not the first time Trump has attacked CNN via Twitter, critiques that he has rigorously defended, tweeting in June: "The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out. Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH."

The video also comes just days after the president's series of tweets attacking Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Trump had criticized their "poorly rated" MSNBC show and added that "low IQ Crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe" went to Mar-a-Lago and insisted on joining him while Brzezinski was "bleeding badly from a face-lift," but Trump had refused. 

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