President Donald Trump says he is all in favor of the country having “as many news outlets as you can,” a reiteration of sorts of his earlier stance that AT&T should have to carve away CNN if it wants to buy parent company Time Warner.
The president was speaking to a press gaggle aboard Air Force One today en route to Hanoi when a reporter asked if he wants AT&T to sell CNN (the rest of the question – most likely “if the deal goes through” or some such, was interrupted by the quick-to-answer Trump).
At first acknowledging that the decision wasn’t his, he continued, “I did make a comment in the past as to what I think. I do feel that you should have as many news outlets as you can, especially since so many of them are fake. This way, at least you can get your word out. But I do believe you should have as many news outlets as you can.
“Now, with that being said, I didn’t make a statement on it, but I made that statement long before at the very early part. So we’ll see how that — it will probably end up being maybe litigation, maybe not. We’ll see how it all plays out.”
Earlier this week, media reports indicated that The Justice Department had told AT&T to ditch either CNN, all of Turner Entertainment or DirectTV from the Time Warner deal.
As Deadline wrote Wednesday, AT&T’s response to the demands would likely be to file a lawsuit against the government. AT&T’s CFO John Stephens said this week that the closing of the deal, long predicted to come by year-end, was “uncertain.”