The White House says he wasn’t serious.
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is still upset with CNN.
As the Wall Street Journal reported last night, Kushner met earlier this year with Gary Ginsberg, a top executive at Time Warner, CNN’s parent company. In the meeting, Kushner told Ginsberg CNN should fire 20 percent of its staff because of its coverage of the 2016 presidential election.
A White House official told the Journal that Kushner’s remark wasn’t serious, and that he “was simply trying to make a point.” The White House didn’t immediately return Vox’s request for comment about the meeting.
It seems like the Trump administration’s feud with CNN isn’t going away. When Kushner took more control of his father-in-law’s presidential campaign last summer, he started complaining to CNN executives about its Trump coverage. He was particularly angry after CNN fact-checked a speech Trump gave on June 22 and threatened to keep campaign members from appearing on the network.
Since then, Trump’s anger toward CNN has only grown. Trump continues to label the media organization as “fake news,” and he famously tweeted a doctored video of him wrestling a CNN avatar. In August, he shared — and then deleted — a cartoon picture of a “Trump Train” running over a person meant to represent CNN.
That the White House is openly attacking CNN — and the wider media — is already troubling. But Trumpworld’s antagonism toward CNN may actually lead the administration to deny a pending media merger that involves the network.