- Incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff
on HBO” that the Democrats plan to investigate Trump’s beef
with CNN and the Washington Post.
- Trump has allegedly taken specific actions the two outlets,
targeting their owners and parent companies.
- The news comes days after Trump publicly feuded with and then
punished CNN’s Jim Acosta by revoking his White House press pass.
After the midterm elections, speculation immediately began on how
the incoming Democratic House majority would use their newfound
power to challenge President Donald Trump.
Now, the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman
told Axios that Democrats intend to investigate Trump’s
attacks on the press.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California said in an interview that will air
on HBO Sunday evening that they’ll specifically focus on Trump’s
statements and actions against CNN and the Washington Post.
Trump has consistently badmouthed press outlets since the
beginning of his 2016 campaign, but as president, he’s taken
specific actions against those two outlets that some perceive as
legitimate threats to press freedom.
Going after the ‘Amazon Washington Post’
The first was Trump’s reported efforts to raise mailing prices
for Amazon, whose CEO Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Trump
often highlights the connection by calling
it the “Amazon Washington Post.”
Schiff told Axios that Trump was “secretly meeting with the
postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat the postmaster into
raising postal rates on Amazon.”
“This appears to be an effort by the president to use the
instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and the
Washington Post,” he said.
Schiff appeared to be referencing a
report from the Washington Post that cited three
sources who said Trump had personally attempted to pressure
Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the shipping rates
applied to Amazon deliveries.
In December 2017, Trump publicly called for the Postal Service to
charge Amazon more in a fiery tweet. And in April, Trump signed
an executive order that created a task force to review the
finances of USPS after days of rebuking the company.
Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
Opposing the Time Warner and AT&T merger
Schiff also brought up the Trump administration’s efforts to
block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, the parent
company of CNN.
“We don’t know, for example, whether the effort to hold up the
merger of the parent of CNN was a concern over antitrust, or
whether this was an effort merely to punish CNN,” he told Axios.
Trump has been
vocal about his opposition to CNN’s coverage, and has also
been vocal about his opposition to the merger, which was
eventually approved in court but is still facing legal
In a May tweet, Trump noted his administration’s opposition to
the merger. It was seemingly a response to a piece
published the same day in which Trump’s attorney Rudy
Giuliani said, “The president denied the merger.”
Why doesn’t the Fake News Media state that the Trump Administration’s Anti-Trust Division has been, and is, opposed to the AT&T purchase of Time Warner in a currently ongoing Trial. Such a disgrace in reporting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2018
The revelation of the Democrats’ planned investigation comes the
same week that Trump got in a
heated exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta, which resulted in the White House
suspending Acosta’s press credentials.
On Friday, Trump defended the action against Acosta and warned,
“It could be others also.”