Jared Kushner reportedly demanded that CNN fire 20% of its staff because the Trump administration was unhappy with the network's coverage during the election.
Early this year, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and aide, Jared Kushner, met a top executive at CNN parent Time Warner Inc. TWX 4.08% and raised concerns about the network’s coverage of the presidential election. Mr. Kushner told the executive, Gary Ginsberg, that CNN should fire 20% of its staff because they were so wrong in their analysis of the election and how it would turn out, people familiar with the matter say.
The White House claims Kushner was joking but people at Time-Warner (the parent company of CNN) took the threat seriously.
A White House official said Mr. Kushner didn’t intend the comment to be taken seriously, and was simply trying to make a point. Inside Time Warner, it wasn’t taken lightly.
As the Intellectualist has previously reported, some suspect that the Trump administration is preventing a vertical merger between Time-Warner and AT&T for the sake of being vindictive, not based on the merits of an actual antitrust issue.
Mr Trump has not hidden his opposition to the deal, which had cleared regulatory hurdles in other countries and had been widely expected to be signed off by Washington. During the presidential campaign, Mr Trump had promised to reject the deal outright, saying it concentrated too much media control into a single corporate entity. The demands are “completely unreasonable” and “a complete perversion of the guidelines of the law”, one person with knowledge of the discussions said.