Donald Trump has provoked anger after tweeting a mocked-up video of him beating up a man with a CNN logo over his face - as ministers are understood to be braced for a presidential visit.
The 28-second clip shared on Sunday shows Mr Trump tackling a man to the floor and pummelling him in a video taken from pro-wrestling event Wrestlemania XXIII.
The face of Vince McMahon, who was on the receiving end of the "body-slam", has been obscured with the logo of American broadcaster CNN logo.
The tweet is the latest development in a continuing row between the US president and the mainstream media.
Mr Trump is crossing the Atlantic later this month for visits to Poland, the G20 summit in Germany, and Bastille Day celebrations in France - and the Government is on alert for a potential visit to the UK.
Officials believe the president may have a window in his schedule to drop in on one of his golf courses in Scotland, which are in Aberdeenshire and Turnberry, Ayrshire.
CNN claimed the video clip "encourages violence against reporters", while Bruce Brown of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press said the tweet was "beneath the office of the presidency".
It is not clear who produced the clip, which has been shared more than 200,000 times on Twitter with the caption "#FraudNewsCNN #FNN".
Mr Trump then doubled down on his criticism of the press later in the day, tweeting: "The dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!"
A White House aide insisted the tweet should not be seen as an attack on reporters.
"I think that no one would perceive that as a threat," homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said.
"I hope they don't. But I do think that he's beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to."
CNN accused Mr Trump of engaging in "juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office".
The channel said: "It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters.
"Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behaviour far below the dignity of his office.
"We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his."
Meanwhile, Mr Trump will only confirm any plans to visit the UK to the Government 24 hours in advance and he may also drop in on Downing Street, according to the Sunday Times.
Once confirmed, it is believed that officials and ministers would then have to make arrangements for a visit, including a potential meeting with Theresa May or other senior ministers.
Campaigners are calling on opponents of the tycoon to be "on standby" for street demonstrations, following a petition against a state visit attracting more than 1.8 million signatures.
Owen Jones, co-founder of Stop Trump Coalition, said: "Donald Trump is so cowardly he thinks he can sneak into the country to avoid protests.
"We have to prove him wrong. We're asking Britain to be on standby to take to the streets with just hours notice if necessary."
Mrs May's official spokesman told reporters: "I am not aware of any plans for the president to visit the UK in the next few weeks."
Asked whether Mr Trump's mooted state visit would take place during 2017, the PM's spokesman said: "We have extended an invitation, it has been accepted and we will set out plans in due course."