President-elect Donald Trump held an off-the-record meeting with several media bigshots on Monday. Instead of being cordially received, they were mercilessly lambasted by Mr Trump, according to the New York Post.
The meeting was held at Trump Tower and attended by 30 to 40 people, “including the big news anchors from all the networks.” Participants aren’t supposed to speak of the details of off-the-record meetings, but according to the Post, some sources still did.
“A f−−−ing firing squad,” is how one of those sources characterized Mr Trump’s attack against the gathered media execs and anchors. The source explained that “Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed.’ ”
The meeting at Trump Tower was not a routine one. “Network anchors have traditionally held off-the-record lunches with the president ahead of the State of the Union address, and President Barack Obama held several private discussions with leading columnists and commentators. But it’s less common to have both network bosses and top on-air talent to meet with a president, or in this case, the president-elect,” writes Left-Liberal Huffington Post.
Just how non-routine the meeting was seems to have dawned on the media bigshots only when Trump started scolding them. “The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source explained. Another source said that Trump kept repeating how the media are “deceitful, dishonest liars,” and confirmed his remarks that “everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars.”
“Excellent meetings with the top executives of the major networks,” is how Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway described the gathering.