- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The most popular Twitter trend in the United States is “#CNNBlackmail,” after CNN was accused of threatening to reveal the identity of the private citizen who made a video depicting President Trump beating up the news network.

SEE ALSO: CNN threatens to reveal Reddit user real identity over Trump wrestling video

CNN discovered the identity of the Reddit user who made a video showing Mr. Trump, in a World Wrestling Entertainment show from 2007, pretending to beat up a man who had a CNN logo superimposed on his face.

In an article published Tuesday night, CNN said it would not reveal the man’s identity because he is a private citizen and had apologized for making the video and offensive comments on Reddit.

But CNN also said it “reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

A CNN spokesperson said the network “decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety.”

“Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user. In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user’s identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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