President Trump ripped ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on Wednesday, calling his question at a White House press conference “very deceptive” before pointing out that his network tried to pass off footage of a Kentucky gun show as fighting at the Syria-Turkey border.
Trump was holding the presser with with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. When he took questions, Karl asked if the president regretted giving Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “a green light to invade Syria.”
“I didn’t give him a green light,” Trump said. “When you make a statement like that, it’s so deceptive. Just the opposite of a green light. First of all, we had virtually no soldiers there. They were mostly gone, just a tiny little group. They would have been in harm’s way. You have a massive army on the other side of the border. But, more importantly, I didn’t give them a green light.”
Then Trump hit him with the Hein.
“When you ask a question like that, it’s very deceptive, John. It’s almost as deceptive as you showing all of the bombings taking place in Syria and it turned out that the bombing that you showed on television took place in Kentucky. I’m not even sure that ABC apologized for that, but I’m certain it was a terrible thing. I’m looking at this, I say wow that’s pretty bad, and it was in Kentucky, it wasn’t in Syria.”
Karl continued to badger the president, asking follow up after follow up until Trump cut him off.
Earlier this week, ABC News aired footage in their nightly news cast and again the next day purportedly showing a battle between the Syrian Kurds and Turks. But the video was actually from a machine gun demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky (you can even see people holding up cell phones to film the event!).
“This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS, now horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-back fighters on those very allies,” said ABC anchor Tom Llamas as the video played.
ABC News later retracted the video. “CORRECTION: We’ve taken down video that aired on ‘World News Tonight’ Sunday and “Good Morning America” this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy. ABC News regrets the error.”