Trump celebrates 'world-class sleazebag' CNN President Jeff Zucker's resignation: 'Congratulations to all!'
- Trump released a statement cheering
CNNpresident Jeff Zucker's abrupt resignation.
- He called Zucker a "world-class sleazebag," adding, "Jeff Zucker is gone — congratulations to all!"
"Jeff Zucker, a world-class sleazebag who has headed ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long, has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers and everybody else," Trump said in a statement. "Now is a chance to put Fake News in the backseat because there may not be anything more important than straightening out the horrendous LameStream Media in our Country, and in the case of CNN, throughout the World."
"Jeff Zucker is gone—congratulations to all!" Trump added.
Zucker, who has led CNN since 2013, said in a statement that he failed to disclose a "consensual relationship" with his "closest colleague" who he'd worked with for 20 years. The New York Times reported that the colleague in question is Allison Gollust, CNN's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She told The Times that their relationship had "changed during Covid."
Trump's relationship with Zucker and CNN grew increasingly hostile during his presidency and as the network reported on the many firestorms that engulfed the Trump White House.
The former president claimed credit for CNN's rise in the ratings and repeatedly labeled it, along with other legacy print and cable news outlets, "the enemy of the American people."
Trump's hatred of CNN grew so intense that in 2017, he tried to block the merger of AT&T and CNN's parent company Time Warner, according to The New Yorker.
The report said that Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News' parent company News Corp, was against the merger as "a matter of shrewd business," but that Trump's opposition was widely suspected to be "a matter of petty retaliation against CNN."
The former president's animosity toward Zucker is a far cry from the cozy relationship the two men once shared, along with a mutual push for high ratings.
"If we made any mistake last year, it's that we probably did put on too many of his campaign rallies in those early months and let them run," Zucker said in 2016, adding: "Because you never knew what he would say."
Zucker's abrupt resignation on Wednesday came as a shock to CNN staffers, who suspected that something more was at play than his relationship with the network's number two executive, Allison Gollust. According to New York Magazine, the relationship is something of an open secret in the media sphere.
Gollust worked as former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's communications chief before going to CNN, the report said, and "CNN staffers awkwardly navigated the pairing, since every time they dealt with her, they were keenly aware that she was involved with the boss."
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