On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s New Day, hosts Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota addressed the apology the network was able to get from the Reddit user behind the gif of President Trump wrestling a CNN image superimposed on WWE founder Vince McMahon. Trump tweeted out the gif and received widespread condemnation from the mainstream media.
“Something remarkable I thought happened yesterday, I thought it was remarkable that CNN found the Reddit user who created the gif of Donald Trump and the wrestling video and where he punches CNN, so the investigative team went back and found the guy who first created this he took credit for it, and then here comes the remarkable part, he apologized. He apologized for having done this,” Camerota said.
“This is a very full-throated I think genuine honest apology. He has also asked we not reveal his name or whereabouts and we at CNN are honoring that,” the co-host also said.
Notably, CNN decided not to reveal the identity of the Reddit user, HanAssholeSolo, if he issued an apology and promised not to continue publishing racist material. Some political commenters are calling the move by the CNN investigative team extortion. Donald Trump Jr. retweeted Dave Rubin‘s accusation that CNN extorted a private citizen for legal behavior.
“Don’t make a gif or CNN will tell on you!” Rubin tweeted.
Camerota said it was actually the Reddit user that asked CNN not to reveal his name.
“Honestly, the reason I think this is so notable, Chris Cillizza, is because this is a very full-throated I think genuine honest apology,” Camerota said. “He has also asked we not reveal his name or whereabouts and we at CNN are honoring that because he’s apologized and he thinks he would then be in danger and at risk if other people knew his name. We get it. We understand that. So I don’t know, I just think that this is just a very interesting addendum to this whole story.”
CNN’s ‘KFILE’ publisher Andrew Kaczynski wrote the network would not be publishing the identity of the user “because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, [that] showed his remorse.”
“CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change,” Kaczynski warned in his article.
UPDATE (7/4 @ 8:34 AM ET): On Wednesday morning, Kaczynski tweeted out some details of the user: “Need to point out again HanAssholeSolo is a middle aged man. People claiming he’s 15 are wrong. Some are intentionally spreading this.”