“For nearly four decades CNN has been constant here in the United States and around the world. Our journalists, in front of and behind the camera, risk their lives in the most dangerous of places every day, so you know the truth,” Wolf Blitzer said on his CNN program, for instance.
“Where disaster hits, where war erupts, we’re there. Where dictators fall, where citizens rise, we’re there. Where fists are raised, blood is shed, and where heroes are made, we’re there, because the relentless pursuit of the truth and the outright rejection of any attack against it, is something we still hold sacred. Always will,” the CNN veteran said passionately, which is saying something when you’re talking about Blitzer.
This pursuit will not end at CNN, “no matter how many insults, or blatant assaults on the press and its freedom. Even the loudest critics can’t silence the facts,” Blitzer said, in re Trump, queuing up CNN’s video of its journalists in various harrowing situations while covering news overseas.
After it aired, Blitzer added, pointedly, “CNN and CNN International are not sponsored by any state, nor any autocrat, nor any political organization.”
“And despite the constant criticism from the president we are unwavering in our mission: free and independent, as the press should be.”
After Blitzer spoke, CNN commentator and former State Department spokesman, retired Rear Admiral John Kirby said Trump’s tweets are putting in danger the lives of American journalists overseas. “It angers me,” Kirby said.
Trump’s latest attack on CNNI came Saturday when he tweeted:
Trump previously complained about CNN International after his 12-day Pacific Rim trip, during which he was forced to watch CNNI, getting up super-early on his first morning back in the U.S. to tweet in happy anticipation of returning to his safe space, Fox & Friends.
“While in the Philippines I was forced to watch @CNN, which I have not done in months, and again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is. Loser!” Trump had tweeted back then.
In addition to Blitzer’s remarks the the longish video CNN’s Monday response to Trump’s latest attack also included Brooke Baldwin reading another response – this one from former CIA/NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden:
“If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American President capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment.”
CNN had previously responded to Trump’s attack with a tweet of its own: