Jake Tapper of CNN tore into Russia's state-sponsored English language network Russia Today (RT) on Twitter Friday morning, saying the network is "targeting" him for his role as an outspoken critic of Pres. Donald Trump.
In a video released Thursday, RT complimented Tapper's deft handling of two recent right-wing smears against him -- a doctored video and a clumsily photoshopped tweet -- before going on to ask if viewers should continue to take CNN seriously when one of their biggest stars keeps getting into Twitter fights.
"Like, he actually gets into bratty fights with anonymous people who could be 12-year-olds for all he knows," said Lori Harfenist, who goes by the handle “The Resident" at RT. "And then he retweets fake tweets of himself. This is supposed to be one of CNN's 'serious newsmen.'"
As ridiculous as right-wing memes trying to discredit Tapper have been, Harfenist said, "the stuff he really gets into on Twitter is even more ridiculous."
Tapper responded with the Twitter equivalent of rolling his eyes.
"How interesting that Russia's government funded propaganda channel is targeting me. Why would that be?" he wrote.
How interesting that Russia's government funded propaganda channel is targeting me. Why would that be? https://t.co/EKXvgavoBw— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1489154892.0
Tapper's second message targeted Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, writing, "While cracking down on freedom/human rights, Putin has amassed a fortune estimated to be worth $200 billion."
He then sent the network a message in Russian that translates to, "Think about how you oppress your people. You are sad and miserable trolls."
To RT: Подумайте, как вы угнетаете своих людей. Вы печальные и жалкие тролли. Xo Jake— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1489157101.0
Russia Today is considered by many to be an unreliable-at-best source of news. The channel is essentially an English-language version of Russia's unabashedly pro-Putin, Kremlin-directed propaganda outlets.
The International Business Times said in January, "RT was reportedly part of Russia’s propaganda efforts during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in an attempt to help Donald Trump and undermine faith in American democracy, according to U.S. intelligence agencies."
Watch the RT video, embedded below: