DONALD Trump slammed CNN over leaked audiotapes of what appears to be the network’s boss Jeff Zucker criticizing the “erratic” president, which were recorded by a far-right outlet.
James O'Keefe of Project Veritas, a right-wing activist group he founded in 2010, said on Tuesday that the organization secretly taped CNN's conferences for two months in a viral Twitter video.
Trump retweeted O'Keefe's claim that one correspondent suggested ignoring Trump's unfounded "rigged" election claims and wrote "Suppression Media!" on Wednesday afternoon.
Zucker previously had a close working relationship with Trump as CEO of NBC Universal during the height of the "The Apprentice," a reality show which saw him hire and fire contestants.
But their relationship has since soured and O'Keefe alleged that Zucker went on a tirade against Trump during an October 9 conference.
During this meeting, a person believed to be the CNN boss said: "OK, 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 [CNN political Director] David, David Chalian said, that this is a president who 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. ... He is all over the place and acting erratically. And I think we need to lean into that."
In another meeting on October 16, a person who Project Veritas claims is Zucker suggested that CNN shouldn’t cover the New York Post’s Hunter Biden “Ukraine, crack, sex” story.
He said: "The Trump media, you know, moves immediately from – OK, well, never mind – the unmasking was, you know, found to be completely nonsensical to the latest alleged scandal and expects everybody to just follow suit.
"So, I don't think that we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the rightwing media suggests that we should."
In a November 17 recording, the person Project Veritas claims is Zucker can be heard saying CNN’s graphics were “too polite” when it came to Trump and urged staff “to go well after” Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.
His comments come after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accused Trump supporter Graham of implying that he should throw out pro-Joe Biden ballots, per the Washington Post, which Graham denied.
CNN Communications responded to O'Keefe's viral video on Tuesday evening by showing him intruding on a conference call earlier that morning.
"Legal experts say this may be a felony," they said. "We‘ve referred it to law enforcement."
The Sun reached out to a CNN spokesperson for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
Legal experts say this may be a felony. We‘ve referred it to law enforcement.CNN Communications
O'Keefe told Fox News' Sean Hannity that he was unconcerned, saying "we have legal experts at Project Veritas and we think that Jeff Zucker is just mad and embarrassed here for what we have exposed."
He said: "I run an organization with a few dozen reporters. They come to me with facts. They're not yessing me. In fact, they're challenging me.
"And what Jeff Zucker is doing on these phone calls is telling people what the story is, telling them what not to cover. This is propaganda!
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"We've never actually seen it – fly on the wall, you can actually hear the president of the company instruct his vice president, instruct his reporters what the narrative ought to be.
"This is the farthest thing from journalism that I know. And I think that CNN owes an apology to the people. I mean, this is disgraceful."
Project Veritas will be dropping tapes "every day" in the coming weeks, O'Keefe said, citing a "brave whistleblower insider" who helped to coordinate the recordings.