The White House does not support the pending merger between CNN’s parent company Time Warner and AT&T if Jeff Zucker remains president of CNN, a source familiar with President Trump’s thinking told The Daily Caller.
The New York Times similarly reported Wednesday night that “White House advisers have discussed” the merger as being a “potential point of leverage over their adversary” CNN. President Trump has been warring with CNN and has branded the cable news network “fraud news.”
TheDC’s source said that Zucker could be fired in order for the merger to go through. The CNN president told the Times that the merger is “not something I think about.”
Time Warner shareholders approved AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition in February. Bloomberg had reported in January that Trump opposed the merger due to concerns that there would be too much power consolidated in the media industry.
Makan Dalrahim, Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, spoke about the pending merger in an October interview. “Just the sheer size of it and the fact that it’s media, I think will get a lot of attention,” Dalrahim said. “However, I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem.”
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.