President Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner told an executive from CNN's parent company earlier this year that the news organization should fire 20 percent of its staff over their coverage of the 2016 election, according to a new report.
The US Department of Justice, the country's antitrust regulator, is investigating the deal and has recommended that AT&T either sell its DirecTV unit or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit, which includes CNN, according to reports this week.
Stephenson twice said the cable channel was not on the table. "That was made by a man who is actually a very respected person, a very, very respected person".
AT&T Inc is ready to litigate if the U.S. Department of Justice blocks its $85.4 billion Time Warner Inc deal, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Thursday.
The deal's holdup has raised suspicions of political retaliation - even from people who oppose the deal entirely.
Also, as Recode noted, in his comments on Saturday Trump also referred to his opposition to the merger on the campaign trail: "I did make a comment as to what I think". As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to block the deal because it concentrated too much "power in the hands of too few". "I do feel that you should have as many news outlets as you can, especially since so many of them are fake".
Delrahim has said he was never given instructions by the White House on how to conduct his analysis.
Trump was asked if he wants AT&T to sell CNN. The companies had been planning to finalize the deal by the end of the year, and just last week AT&T said it was confident it would win approval for the deal since it does not involve direct competitors.
The decision would be made by Delrahim, who was nominated by Trump and joined the Justice Department's antitrust division in September after being confirmed by the Senate. "But I do believe you should have as many news outlets as you can".