I Didn't 'Make Decision' to Recommend AT&T Sell CNN

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In 2014, Twenty-First Century Fox proposed buying Time Warner for $80bn.

The revelation of those comments came days after reports that the Department of Justice was pressuring Time Warner to sell CNN before approving the telecom giant's merger with AT&T. As president, Trump has often blasted CNN for its coverage of him and his administration, disparaging it and its reporters as "fake news". Delrahim, who supported Trump during the campaign and served nine months as a White House lawyer, is responsible for overseeing the AT&T transaction.

Stephenson said several times on Thursday that a combined AT&T and Time Warner will create a data and advertising company whose competitors will be the newest and most disruptive entrants into the media sector, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google, not other wireless phone companies.

AT&T has argued against selling off either company's assets, as it believes this would undercut the rationale for the tie-up. The Justice Department has asked that assets like cable news network CNN and satellite provider DirecTV be sold, according to people familiar with the matter.

The corporate negotiations are political in part because Trump frequently calls out CNN as "fake news". "We'll see how it all plays out", Trump said aboard Air Force One, according to the White House's official transcript of the exchange.

"If it gets to trial, I think they'll use whatever they have", she said.

Delrahim said he had not had any contact with the White House or the attorney general on the matter, speaking at an event at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles later in the day.

President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the USA government's approval of the deal. "DOJ will say, 'Hey, we are a strong cop on the beat.' And everyone walks away happy".

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