President Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen threatened to sue CNBC to get his boss higher placement on the cable network’s list of top business leaders after Cohen’s efforts to rig the polling failed, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Cohen threatened to sue on the dubious legal grounds of “ignoring the will of the people,” WSJ reported, which may explain why the news network did not respond to the threat, and why Trump did not sue, according to the report.
CNBC declined to comment.
The kerfuffle erupted when Trump failed to break into the Top 100 finalists on CNBC’s ranking of people who it determined had the most profound impact on business and finance since 1989, which was the year CNBC went live.
To put this list in perspective, it was curated by a panel CNBC deemed experts on the topic and included an online poll to “guide” the experts in winnowing 200 hopefuls down to 25.
Trump took to Twitter to campaign for online votes, Cohen hired a technology firm to rig the poll – the same firm Cohen reportedly hired to rig a 2015 Drudge Report poll asking who should be the GOP presidential nominee. Both those rigging efforts flopped, according to an earlier WSJ report. Cohen responded to news he had tried to rig those polls, saying in a statement his actions had been taken “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump,” adding, “I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”
When Trump did not make CNBC’s list, he tweet-trashed it: “Stupid poll should be canceled—no credibility.”
Who did make the list?
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison – and a troika of Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, listed as Google’s internet and media disruptors – broke the Top 10.
Also making the list were Mexican billionaire businessman Carlos Slim, Martha Stewart, Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, investor Carl Icahn, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Rupert Murdoch, among others.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.