Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, is dissecting the reasons that Donald Trump hates his network so much and he believes it’s personal. On a recent podcast, Zucker explains why he thinks the president keeps attacking the network and why it’s not likely to stop any time soon.
The Huffington Post says that Zucker spoke at length to political commentator David Axelrod on his podcast The Axe Files, and shared what believes to be the core of Trump’s seeming obsession with disrespecting CNN and its employees. Zucker says he and Trump used to be friends, and so Trump assumed he would get special treatment if he ever entered politics.
“We’ve had this long, 20-plus year relationship, that for a long time was quite strong. And, you know, Donald Trump did not understand, in the end, that just because we were friends didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be subjected to the proper scrutiny. He thought CNN should give him a pass because we were friends. He thought CNN should be like Fox News and just give him glowing coverage all the time.”
Zucker believes that Trump is still stinging about that fact that he receives any scrutiny at all because he believes that friendship should have inoculated him from criticism.
Zucker: "I think that our job at CNN is to tell the truth. The problem is, in this day and age, I do understand that sometimes when you're pro-truth, it comes off as anti-Trump…" https://t.co/OWMjBWPTxL
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 4, 2018
Axelrod asked Zucker if he believes that Trump’s animous for CNN is all about their former friendship or if he thinks that the president wants to discredit the network because it might inform the swing voters or those undecided.
“I do believe it’s both reasons. He attacks CNN for three reasons. First, we are relevant. If we didn’t matter, he wouldn’t care. We attract the voters that MSNBC and Fox don’t, and they are often swing and Independent voters.”
Zucker adds that the next part of the puzzle is lumped in with the way he calls out the New York Times and Saturday Night Live.
“These are things he liked before he was a candidate, and things he associates with New York.”
And that brings the CNN president to the third reason, their former friendship. Zucker thinks Trump sees CNN as an extension of Zucker, and he lashes out because he feels attacked or ganged up on.
“He [Trump] thought CNN should be like Fox News and give him glowing coverage all the time. He should get the coverage he deserves, and it’s not going to be different because we were friends.”
Within the last two weeks, Donald Trump ramped up his ire with CNN, stripping senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta of his press credentials, which ended up in a court battle, per the Inquisitr.