The President of CNN, Jeff Zucker, said that Trump has avoided interviews with his network because “he knows he would be held to account” on CNN.
“I believe CNN is the only major news organization in the country that has not had an interview with Trump as president,” Zucker said. “I do think that tells you he knows he would be held to account on CNN.”
The last time that Trump granted an interview to CNN was August of 2016; his last appearance on MSNBC was even earlier, in May of 2016.
While Trump has all but avoided the network, he has at least mentioned the network President by name. During a press conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed Trump on the issue.
“I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it’s true and, you know, over a course of time, I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly and I’m OK with that. But I’m not OK when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred. Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?”
Trump had previously claimed that he was responsible for getting Zucker hired as President of NBC.
Trump, for his part, has called CNN “fake news,” even going so far as to publicly make the claim in an ad celebrating the 100th day of his presidency.
While Trump has no problem appearing on FOX News for softball interviews and ego stroking, the President’s refusal to take an actual interview is telling. The prospect of owning up to his actions is obviously too agonizing for a President who is already under FBI investigation for obstruction of justice. At the very least he has the wherewithal to realize that nearly everything he says is self-incriminating.