|Drawing by John Deering, February 2016.|
While on FAKE NEWS @CNN, Bernie Sanders was cut off for using the term fake news to describe the network. They said technical difficulties!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2017
The show was Friday night, so Trump seems to have been brooding on this for a day and a half (unless SNL was so devastating he's desperate for a distraction from that). It's pretty clear CNN wasn't trying to silence Senator Sanders. If anything, they were taking some unseemly glee in what Bernie was saying. Unfortunately what Bernie was saying has gotten a little bit lost in the excitement, and as a public service I'd like to reproduce some of that below. I'm a little surprised the Donald wants to call attention to it!
Sanders wasn't using the term "fake news" to describe the network; he was using it, snarkily, to illustrate Trump's delusionality:
BURNETT: [Trump] says he knows nothing about [General Michael Flynn's history of clandestine contacts with the Russian government], hasn't seen any of these reports. Is that a problem?
SANDERS: Well, I don't know, maybe he was watching CNN fake news, what do you think?
BURNETT: You don't buy it?
SANDERS: That was a joke.
BURNETT: I know it was a joke. I'm saying, you don't buy what he said, obviously?
Then the connection did go down, for a moment. It wasn't a great joke. When the network reestablished the audio, he went on to explain it:
BURNETT: We are back. Senator Sanders is back with me and I want to apologize to our viewers obviously for that technical issue. And Senator, you had just been talking, joking about, you know, CNN fake news but obviously the reports about General Flynn --
SANDERS: Well, here is the point, Erin. It is not a joke. And I can tell you that here in Vermont and all over this country, there is a real concern about what's happening in this country over the last month. When you have a president who attacks people in the media, who make critical remarks of them, which is what their job is as providing fake news, when you have a president who attacks a judge who rules against him is a so -- is a so-called judge, indicting the entire judiciary, clearly we have a president who does not understand what our constitution is about, what democracy is about and I think there is a fear in this country of this nation under Trump moving into a more authoritarian mode.
And later in the segment,
people see this president this president as a total hypocrite... he's using incredibly insulting words... trying to understand the way this president functions is something that I can't quite figure out myself...
BURNETT: It does bring me, though, to a serious issue, though, of course, which is mental health, right? ....
SANDERS: .... I used the term "delusional" in Trump -- with regard to Trump, when he said that with three to five million illegals who voted in the last election. Erin, that is delusional. Nobody in the world believes that is the case. There is zero evidence to back it up. But he makes that statement. So, I think the word "delusional" is correct. I have used the word "pathological liar" to describe Donald Trump. Those are very harsh terms, I don't feel good about it. I disagreed with George Bush all the time, I never called him a pathological liar, because he was not, just a conservative president. But this guy lies all of the time.Thanks, @RealDonaldTrump, for bringing this important material to our notice.