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Trump for employees at AT & T / Time Warner: "I want the transaction to be blocked!"


President Donald Trump talks to the crowd.
enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland National Harbor on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

President Donald Trump tried to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice to block the acquisition of AT&T Time Warner Inc., according to a new report. The New Yorker. The White House's staff, however, obviously ignored the President's instructions to put pressure on the DOJ and it was unclear whether Trump had ever demanded the DOJ.

The New Yorker Report on "Making a White House for Fox News" – details Trump's close relationship with Fox and Fox's competitors that provide less brilliant news to his presidency.

Trump has long been familiar with CNN and, during his campaign, promised to block AT & T's acquisition of Time Warner, owner of CNN. The November 2017 DOJ of Trump's Administration launched a lawsuit to prevent AT & T's proposed acquisition of War Warner. But did Trump intervene, it was not clear – AT&T finally succeeded in court and ended the merger, despite not trying to prove that Trump contributed to the merger review.

– Did I tell Cohn to get this lawsuit?

Details of the The New Yorker The report suggests that Trump had ordered staff to intervene in the DOJ review, but his colleagues did not. By article:

[I]n In the summer of 2017, a few months before the request of the Ministry of Justice, Trump ordered Gary Cohn and then the Director of the National Economic Council to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice. According to a well-informed source, Trump called Cohn to the Oval Office as John Kelly, who was just his boss, and waving to Kelly said, "I told Cohn that he would get this law and nothing happened.

Cohn, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs, obviously understood that it would be inappropriate for a president to use the Ministry of Justice to undermine the country's two strongest companies as a punishment for unfavorable news and to be rewarded by a competing news organization that amplified. According to the source, as Cohn came out of the meeting, he told Kelly: "Do not dare to call the Ministry of Justice.

Today we contacted the White House press office and update this story if we call back.

The article points out that the 21st century Fox failed to buy Time Warner in 2014 and suggests that Fox president Rupert Murdoch opposed the AT&T / Time Warner merger as a "clever case."

In November 2017, the DOJ reported that the DOJ had asked AT&T and Time Warner to sell CNN or DirecTV to gain government approval for the merger.

At the same time, Reuters announced that Murdoch had twice named AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to ask whether AT&T would sell CNN, but Stephenson told him that AT&T would not sell CNN.

Trump once claimed to have an "absolute right" over DOJ

Though Trump publicly opposed the AT&T / Time Warner business, "Trump also claimed" will not participate "and the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly assured the public that it has not done so," The New Yorker article.

In December 2017, Trump said The New York Times "I have the absolute right to do what I want to do with the Ministry of Justice."

But the president who intervenes in the DOJ punishes a news organization for coverage that doesn't want to violate the first change.

"The first amendment prohibits retaliation on the basis of speech, association, or political activity," the Protect Democracy Monitoring Group wrote last year in a white paper that disputed Trump's claims that he would do anything with the DOJ. "It would therefore violate the first amendment that the White House should intervene in a particular party's case to react to political participation or prevent the protected activity of the first amendment."

In a statement made last year, the DoJ's antitrust leader, Makan Delrahim, said that the review of AT&T / Time Warner's merger did not take into account the views of other people (including the then candidate or President of Trump or anyone in the White House) editorial content or exercise of the rights of the first modification, "a Species article.

Delrahim argued that the acquisition of AT&T Time Warner and the stability of popular TV shows would give the company too much control over programming and distribution and would ultimately increase the cost of cable customers. But AT&T defeated the government's lawsuit in the District of Columbia, and then again in a federal appeal court. The judges of the two courts claimed that the DOJ did not prove his case.

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