CNN President Jeff Zucker on Trump: 'He is a terrible media critic'

Rob Kim/Getty ImagesCNN President Jeff Zucker at an event in New York in 2014
  • CNN President Jeff Zucker dismissed President Donald Trump’s criticism of the network.
  • Zucker and Trump have exchanged barbs repeatedly over the past year.

CNN President Jeff Zucker dismissed President Donald Trump’s most recent criticism of the network’s international channel.

During an interview at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, BI’s advertising editor Mike Shields read Zucker the president’s recent claim that Fox News is “MUCH more important” domestically than CNN, but “outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly.”

“He is a terrible media critic,” Zucker said.

The CNN president noted that the network had a record-breaking viewership year, but that he the network could have “never anticipated the audience levels we’re seeing now.”

“We did not expect this kind of news bump, news interest,” Zucker said. “I don’t think that any news organisation did.”

He added: “The one thing I know for sure between The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, is that Donald Trump has made journalism great again.”

Trump’s tweet over the weekend produced reported anxiety, as critics inside and outside the network said that his attacks imperiled its journalists overseas in countries where press freedom rules were not as strong.

Once professional bedfellows during Trump’s star turn on “The Apprentice” when Zucker was at NBC, the relationship between Zucker and the president has soured significantly.

Over the past year, Trump has repeatedly escalated his rhetorical attacks on both CNN, its individual personalities, and Zucker himself.

For his part, Zucker said that Trump’s attacks have “only emboldened us.”

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