President Donald Trump said on Sept. 9 that an activist investor’s move on AT&T including questioning its past business decisions like the takeover of Time Warner—CNN’s parent company—was “great news,” while taking the opportunity to repeat his criticism of the network’s news reporting.
“Great news that an activist investor is now involved with AT&T. As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN, perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News emanating from its non-credible ‘anchors.’ Also, I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune,” Trump began in his Twitter thread.
“But most importantly, @CNN is bad for the USA,” he added.
The president then called out CNN’s international news division for spreading “bad information & Fake News all over the globe,” while claiming that he is frequently asked by leaders of other countries about why media outlets “hate the U.S. sooo much.”
…But most importantly, @CNN is bad for the USA. Their International Division spews bad information & Fake News all over the globe. This is why foreign leaders are always asking me, “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” It is a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2019
Trump’s comments come after the activist investor group Elliott Management Corp disclosed in a letter to AT&T board of directors earlier in the day (pdf) that it has $3.2 billion interest in the telecom group while calling the company “deeply undervalued.” An activist investor is a person or group who acquires a large number of shares in a company in order to influence change in the company’s management.
In its letter, Elliott called for AT&T to sell some of its assets while questioning it over some of its past deals, including its merger with Time Warner.
“Despite nearly 600 days passing between signing and closing (and more than a year passing since), AT&T has yet to articulate a clear strategic rationale for why AT&T needs to own Time Warner,” the group wrote in their letter. “While it is too soon to tell whether AT&T can create value with Time Warner, we remain cautious on the benefits of this combination.”
AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner allows the telecom to own several television networks and content producers like HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., and TNT.
Elliott said that with the right strategic moves the company could almost reach double its share price by end of 2021.
In several follow up posts, the president went further to call out another network, MSNBC, and its parent company Comcast for what he described as biased coverage on the Trump administration.
“As bad as @CNN is, Comcast MSNBC is worse. Their ratings are also way down because they have lost all credibility. I believe their stories about me are not 93% negative, but actually 100% negative. They are incapable of saying anything positive, despite all of the great things that this Administration has done,” he wrote.
He continued by underscoring his administration’s achievements including those made in the economy, criminal justice reform, and taxes.
“The Trump Administrations has achieved more in the first 2 1/2 years of its existence than perhaps any administration in the history of our Country. We get ZERO media credit for what we have done, and are doing, but the people know, and that’s all that is important!” he added.