CNN Boss Jeff Zucker Reportedly Hosted Power-Player Breakfast for Kamala Harris 10 Years Ago

Breaking his own personal rule about staying out of politics, CNN President Jeff Zucker hosted an introductory breakfast for Kamala Harris with New York power players in 2009, when she was running for California attorney general and he was CEO of NBC Universal.

“Kamala is not just important for the city of San Francisco, the state of California, but for the entire country,” he told the guests at the breakfast at NBC’s Rockefeller Plaza. That’s according to a McClatchy report, which is based on a 2009 news story from the magazine India Abroad. 

“Jeff hosted a small breakfast in New York for Kamala Harris when she was the District Attorney of San Francisco,” Allison Gollust, chief spokesperson for CNN, confirmed to McClatchy. “He was then CEO of NBC Universal, and was introducing the DA to some of his colleagues in an informal setting. He has seen her a handful of times in the last 10 years, all in his capacity as a journalist. His relationship with the senator is no different than any other national politician, and he has never endorsed her, or anyone, in any ca‎pacity.”

Still, offering to provide Harris such a valuable meet-and-greet with powerful members of the elite media and political class was clearly an informal endorsement of her potential, as his own comments from the time imply.

“This is in fact, the first time I’ve ever done one of these, and that’s because I have a very, very strict policy because of my job,” Zucker said at the breakfast. “I’ve taken a position that I completely stay out of supporting candidates of any party and try to stay out of politics entirely,”

Of course, Zucker, who became CNN president in 2013, was friendly with Donald Trump for many years before his presidential campaign, something that garnered criticism of the network’s early Trump coverage.

The McClatchy report dropped ahead of this week’s CNN debates, where the big focus of pundits is on a likely “round two” between Harris and Joe Biden.

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