President Donald Trump spoke to Time Magazine on Monday night, before the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
So while that was obviously not discussed, Trump was as colorful as ever, especially in discussing the media. Specifically, he had harsh words for CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo, as well as CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.
“For instance, I don’t watch CNN,” claimed Trump, who also said the same of MSNBC. “CNN in the morning, Chris Cuomo, he’s sitting there like a chained lunatic. He’s like a boiler ready to explode, the level of hatred,” he added not giving an example to indicate exactly what he meant.
“[T]he entire, you know the entire CNN platform is that way,” he continued. “This Don Lemon, who’s perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting, Don Lemon at night it’s like – sometimes they’ll have a guest who by mistake will say something good. And they’ll start screaming, we’re going to commercial. They cut him off. Remember?”
Lemon has, in fact, ended shows abruptly, but the most commonly cited examples both ended at about four minutes before the top of the hour. The former saw him close the show when a guest incessantly called CNN “fake news,” while the latter was as a response to Jeffrey Lord repeatedly comparing trump to Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump actually cited Lord, though he didn't indicate what appearances of Lord's he was talking about, later in his comments about CNN:
“I’ve seen things where by mistake somebody they bring in a guest and it turns out to be a positive. And they go, I mean they get just killed. The level of hatred. And poor Jeffrey Lord. I love Jeffrey Lord. But sometimes he’s sitting there with eight unknown killers that nobody ever heard of.”
As for Colbert, who was heavily criticized for ending a Trump-centric monologue with a reference to Trump's mouth only being good for sex acts with Vladimir Putin, that incident was seemingly fresh on the president's mind:
You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him. The guy was dying.
By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. … But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high—highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.
The Trump episode of “The Late Show” in September of 2015 did legitimately pop an above-average rating, but it's not immediately clear if it's the show's all-time record. Colbert had debuted as David Letterman's replacement just a few weeks earlier.