CNN slams blackmail and coercion claims after report on Reddit user — who is not a teenager
Collage wall inside CNN (Photo: by mohamedn/Flickr)

CNN has issued a statement regarding the controversy surrounding Reddit user “HanA**holeSolo” -- who created a GIF image that President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday. Trump allies and conservative activists have alleged that the person is a 15-year-old boy and that he is being blackmailed by CNN.

CNN disputed all of that, saying that the man is not 15 years old and that they would not be publishing his name because he is a private citizen.

"CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety," the statement outlined. "Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false. 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."