Jeff Zucker Defends Pro-Trump Contributors: ‘It’s Hard to Find People’ Who Support POTUS But ‘We Need Those Voices’
CNN President Jeff Zucker defended his network hiring commentators who support President Donald Trump, Thursday, explaining that it’s important for Americans to see what Republicans think.
After being asked by CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter at the Citizen by CNN event why CNN hires commentators who support President Trump, specifically recent CNN hire and former Republican Congressman Sean Duffy, Zucker replied, “I get that… Look, I think there is a lot of emotion around this president and this presidency, and so people who watch CNN, people who work at CNN, there are folks out there who are never going to be comfortable with anything the president says, anyone who defends the president.”
“It’s my view that if we don’t hear from people who support the president, either in his administration or on Capitol Hill or outside of the administration, if we don’t pay attention to those people and what they’re saying and what they’re representing, then I think what happens is we wake up the day after the election and half the country is surprised that President Trump is the President of the United States,” he continued. “And I think it’s our job to explain to as many of our viewers as possible why there are people who support Trump, support the president. Why people believe in him. And it’s our job to question them and to hold them to account.”
“People ask, ‘Why do you pay people to come on and support him?’ That’s what you’re referring to. The latest one is five-term congressman Sean Duffy out of Wisconsin, who we just added to our roster of Trump voices on CNN. I get a lot of criticism from folks who wanna know, ‘Why do you pay people to come on and talk in support of the president,'” Zucker elaborated. “It’s my belief that we should represent out there what those who support Donald Trump think. Now they say, ‘Well just have them come on as a guest and don’t pay them.’ Look, it is hard… It is hard to find people who will come on and support the president’s point of view.”
The CNN president concluded, “And so my view has been we have several very ardent pro-Trump supporters, because we’re running CNN US, we’re running CNN International, we’re running HLN. We need those voices and I think there’s a place for them. I acknowledge there are people who disagree with me on that. I feel strongly that their point of view should be heard.”
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