Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blasted President Donald Trump for tweets in which the president slammed CNN International.
"Well, he all but declared Fox News to be American state TV," Schmidt said Monday on MSNBC's "The Eleventh Hour With Brian Williams."
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Fox News is "much more important" than CNN.
Schmidt told MSNBC that "with regard to CNN International, with people who live in autocratic countries, who live behind a veil of totalitarianism, CNN International — they thirst for that news coverage because it's a truth to them.
"It speaks to what's happening in the world and all of its cruelty, its injustice. But also the magnanimity, the hope, that comes from the notion of free people," Schmidt said.
"So, what he did is he endangered, certainly, CNN journalists, all journalists operating in dangerous areas, in autocratic areas. And it's another assault in spirit on the concept of a free press, on the spirit of the First Amendment," he added.
Schmidt said Trump's statements as president are not normal. "These are the behaviors of an autocrat, not a democratically elected president of the United States."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer responded Monday to Trump's attacks against the network, saying, "Even the loudest critics can't silence the facts."
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