Fox News host Tucker Carlson released stunning audio recordings between CNN President Jeff Zucker and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that appeared to show Zucker trying to cozy up to Cohen in order to win favor with Trump.
During the segment, Carlson plays audio recordings between Cohen and Zucker where Zucker gives Trump political advice and says that he wants to create a weekly show for Trump. Zucker says during the recording that he doesn’t want to put any of it in writing in an email in an apparent attempt to keep it from becoming public.
At the very end of the segment, Carlson played an audio recording of CNN host Chris Cuomo that Carlson said proved that some CNN’s interviews are “coached.” Carlson said that he was releasing more on the tapes involving Cuomo tomorrow night.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Disgraced felon lawyer Michael Cohen has a new book out, it’s an election year quickie that he probably hasn’t even read, it attacks Donald Trump. Someone should ask him, have you read it? Quick, what’s chapter three about? No one will ask him that of course, the media naturally have swung into formation to promote it. CNN’s leading the charge. Tomorrow night, Michael Cohen is on CNN for a much-hyped prime time interview. You can imagine how many tough questions he’s going to get on CNN, probably not too many. For Michael Cohen, CNN is like a second home. He’s got a lot of close friends over there including, we told you about this last week, the channel’s chief body building correspondent Chris Cuomo. We’ll have much more on the friendship between Cohen and Cuomo later in the week.
But Chris Cuomo is not Cohen’s only ally at CNN. Cohen is also close to CNN President Jeff Zucker, the man who moonlights as a Democratic campaign operative. Cohen and Zucker once had kids at the same private school in New York. Cohen served on the board of school with Zucker’s ex-wife. Jeff Zucker and Michael Cohen have long been personal friends, as least to the extent that narcissists have the capacity for personal friendship. The relationship tells you a lot about how things actually work in media and in politics. Case in point, on March 10, 2016, that was the day of the final Republican primary debate, Cohen called Jeff Zucker on his cell phone. CNN was hosting the debate in Miami and Cohen—who was working for Donald Trump at the time—wanted to check in about it. Zucker almost immediately started bragging about himself as he [wants] to do. After a few proforma words about their family, Zucker launched into an extended lecture about his own importance. …
“Here’s the thing… you cannot be elected president of the United States without CNN. Fox and MSNBC are irrelevant—irrelevant—in electing a general election candidate.”
If you want to run the country in other words, Jeff Zucker said, you’ve got to sniff my throne. It’s not that CNN needs the help, he explained, ‘We’re killing it, we’re doing great.’ But Donald Trump badly needs CNN.
“You guys have had great instincts, great guts and great understanding of everything. But you’re missing the boat on how it works going forward.”
“Okay,” Michael Cohen replies. “Why don’t you email Donald Trump and tell him that.”
And at that point, for the first time in the conversation, Jeff Zucker pauses. It turns out that Jeff Zucker doesn’t like to write things down, sneaky people never do. So here’s what he says next:
JEFF ZUCKER, CNN PRESIDENT: “I’m very conscious of not putting too much in email, as you’re a lawyer, as you understand. And, you know, and as fond as I am of the boss, he also has a tendency, like, you know, if I call him or I email him, he then is capable of going out at his next rally and saying that we just talked and I can’t have that if you know what I’m saying.”
CARLSON: People would know I talked to Trump and I can’t have that, if you know what I’m saying. Yeah, we know what you are saying Jeff Zucker. You are saying secretly, that when you think no one is watching, you are more than happy to play all sides. You can brag about how powerful you are, the big-time network honcho kingmaker, the man who decides who’s president. Like all tiny insecure people, you’ll mix flattery with your swagger along the way, you refer to Donald Trump as “The Boss” even when he is not on the call. You are happy to do that. What you don’t want, is anyone in your tiny self-righteous left-wing rich person world to know that you’re doing it. What would Don Lemon think if he knew you were talking to orange Satan? Brooke Baldwin might storm off the set. The world would conclude that you’re a dishonest phony and for good reasons. So, you’ve got to keep it all hidden. ‘Sorry, you know what I’m saying.’ But Zucker assured Michael Cohen that none of this was personal. “It’s not that I don’t want to talk to Trump every day. I’ve just got to be careful because I’ve got to be careful. I just don’t want him talking about it on the campaign trail. But you know what? I’m going to give him a call right now and I’m going to wish him luck in the debate tonight.”
And then Zucker added this:
ZUCKER: “I have all these proposals for him. Like, I want to do a weekly show with and all this stuff. Is he back in New York tomorrow, do you know?”
CARLSON: Wait, what? A weekly show on CNN? Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, wanted to give a weekly show to a man he himself has denounced as a racist? Yep. That was the plan. Trump, of course, never did get the show, Anderson Cooper is still there. But Jeff Zucker did take the time to dispense quite a bit of unsolicited political advice to Michael Cohen, ‘ I think the other guys are going to gang up on him tremendously…and I think he’s going to hold his own, as he does every time. He’s never lost a debate. And you know what? He’s good at this…He’s going to do great.’ Cohen didn’t seem convinced by this. Cohen was worried about attacks from the other Republicans on the stage, but Zucker reassured him that Trump would prevail. And then, Jeff Zucker offered this surprisingly detailed political advice. Listen:
MICHAEL COHEN, THEN-TRUMP ATTORNEY: How many time do you think Cruz is going to call him a conman tonight?
ZUCKER: No, Rubio.
COHEN: I mean Rubio. I mean Rubio. How many times do you think he’s—
ZUCKER: A lot. A lot.
COHEN: I say, 100.
ZUCKER: So, you know what you should do? Whoever’s around him today should just be calling him a conman all day, so that he’s used to it, so that when he hears it from Rubio, it doesn’t matter. ‘Hey conman. Hey conman. Hey conman. He thinks that’s his name, you know?”