CNN President Jeff Zucker said grudgingly Tuesday he expected President Donald Trump to see out his four-year term.
Interviewed at a media conference in Jerusalem, Zucker was asked in an interview whether he though Trump would survive a full term in office. After dodging a little, he replied: “I think today, you have to say that, you know, he will be president for four years.”
Zucker, whose network has been dismissed by Trump as “fake news,” said the last time he spoke to the president was on “December 21 at 7 p.m.” when Trump was “railing” at him about a CNN guest who said things he didn’t like about him.
“He yelled at me for two minutes,” said Zucker, and then “he said, ‘OK, got it, goodbye’ And he hung up.”
“I would say it was more of a monologue,” laughed Zucker, though “I did say ‘Hello.'”
Zucker said it was “shocking” to watch the political establishment’s silence in the face of Trump’s attacks on the media, calling it an abdication of their responsibility.
He told the INTV media conference that Trump’s labeling of the media as the enemy of the state was dangerous and that “words can have consequences.” He also said he was stunned politicians had not spoken out fiercely against the assault on the free press. He singled out Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham as two of the only ones to have the courage to stand up for their convictions.
Since taking office, Trump has lashed out repeatedly at CNN as “fake news.” He’s upbraided its reporters publicly and attacked Zucker personally.
Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan, in a speech to the same conference, complained about foreign media bias against Israel, declaring that “the times has come, dear friends, for the international media to do some soul-searching.”
Zucker, asked about the charge, said mildly that “We are not perfect” and that it was “important for us to continue to provide the full content.”