'You people can never take a joke':  White House officials back Trump encouraging violence against reporters
White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon (L) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

White House staffers on Sunday defended President Donald Trump after he tweeted a mocked-up video that appeared to show him body slamming a CNN reporter.


In a statement on Sunday, CNN called on the president to do his job instead of encouraging violence against reporters.

“It is a sad day when the President of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” the CNN statement said. “Clearly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the President had never done so.”

But White House staffers told The Daily Beast that they supported Trump's attack on CNN, which was reportedly created with assistance from White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino.

“I thought it was funny,” one official at the White House told the publication. “Glad Scavino and the president did that.”

“The president fights back,” one staffer said. “It’s rich that some of you people [in the media] can never take a joke.”

Another official called the controversy "pure Trump.”

Not everyone agrees.

On ABC's This Week, Republican strategist Ana Navarro warned that Trump is inciting violence and could "get someone killed."