CNN threatened legal action against journalist James O’Keefe on Tuesday after O’Keefe crashed CNN’s daily call with company head Jeff Zucker and announced that he had months of recordings from the call that he would be releasing.
In one of the videos that O’Keefe has released so far, Zucker says that the company needed to go after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and that the company has been “too polite” with their political coverage and he wanted to paint President Donald Trump as “acting erratically.”
In the video, Zucker can be heard allegedly saying:
- September 8: “Each of these so called ‘scandals’ for Trump, each of these things, we should just once again be careful to say that this is the one that is going to undo him with his voters.”
- October 9, after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19: “Okay, I just want to re-emphasize that, you know, I think we cannot normalize what has happened here in the last week with Trump and his behavior. And I go back to what David said, David Chalian said, that this is a president that knows he’s losing, who knows he’s in trouble, is sick, maybe is on the after effects of steroids or not, I don’t know, but he is acting erratically and desperately, and we need to, we need to not normalize that. … You know this is what we’ve come to expect for the last three and a half years, four years, but it clearly is exacerbated by the time that we’re in and the issues that he’s dealing with. And I think that we cannot just let it be normalized. He is all over the place and acting erratically. And I think we need to lean into that.”
- November 17: “Frankly, if we’ve made any mistake, it’s been that our banners have been too polite, and we need to go well after Lindsey Graham. … There is a lot of news out there, and Lindsey Graham really deserves it.”
BREAKING: @CNN President BLASTS Trump & Republicans on 9am Call with Senior Leadership
'He(@realDonaldTrump) is acting erratically…I think we need to lean into that…'
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) December 2, 2020
The video comes after O’Keefe tweeted out a livestream of him crashing CNN’s meeting yesterday morning. CNN’s communications team responded directly to O’Keefe on Twitter, writing: “Legal experts say this may be a felony. We‘ve referred it to law enforcement.”
“It’s important that we hold accountable the mainstream media,” O’Keefe said yesterday. “The media has to be held to account. They are hurting the American people with their lies, their innuendo, their slander, the defamation, the hyperbole and I think Mr. Zucker is shaking in his boots right now. I think he’s very afraid of what might be coming.”
The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., responded to CNN’s communications team directly on the social media platform, writing: “It’s amazing that CNN had no problem aggressively running with secretly recorded audio tapes of the First Lady non-stop for weeks, but has a serious problem when someone does the exact same thing to them! If it wasn’t for double standards, they would have no standards at all.”
It’s amazing that CNN had no problem aggressively running with secretly recorded audio tapes of the First Lady non-stop for weeks, but has a serious problem when someone does the exact same thing to them!
If it wasn’t for double standards, they would have no standards at all. https://t.co/THV2PpHmiN
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 2, 2020