Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump answered a question from a broadcast-network reporter about government agency leaks by bringing up the cable news network: “ I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.”
The president also made it personal, telling CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta to “ask [CNN Worldwide President] Jeff Zucker how he got his job, OK?”
It was not immediately known what Trump meant, reports The NY Post.
Meanwhile, Zucker, in New York hosting a long-scheduled media-day event, claimed a recent brand study showed Trump’s constant reference to CNN as “fake news” had not hurt the brand at all.
Speaking from the podium at the event, Zucker told reporters they should be concerned about “authoritarian regimes.”
CNN reporters are not intimidated by criticism and in fact wear it as a “badge of pride,” according to Zucker, who admitted he is a bit concerned about the pace at which news is breaking.
CNN reporters are “exhausted,” said Zucker.
When asked at the press event if he feels responsible for the rise of Trump — from real estate developer to reality TV star to president — Zucker said he does not.
Zucker revealed that in January, the network conducted its “biggest brand survey that we’ve ever done” to determine whether the label Trump has given it, “fake news,” is sticking with viewers. “I am happy to tell you there has been no diminution whatsoever in the CNN brand,” he said. “The CNN brand is as strong as it’s ever been.” He said the company will look to share those results publicly.