In the sort of shady government move that seems extra shady when coming from the Trump administration, multiple sources have reported to CNN that the Department Of Justice won’t approve of AT&T purchasing Time Warner unless it sells off either CNN parent company Turner or DirecTV. A source from within the DOJ says that AT&T offered to sell CNN specifically, but that the Antitrust Division “flatly rejected it,” and now AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has come forward to report that no such deal was ever offered and that his company has “no intention” of dropping CNN.
Basically, insiders say that the government wants AT&T to drop CNN, the government says that AT&T tried to drop CNN but couldn’t, and AT&T says that it refuses to drop CNN, with all of this putting the long-in-the-works merger of AT&T and Time Warner on indefinite hold. If none of this makes sense, one of CNN’s sources says that it all seems like “an attempt to punish CNN,” implying that the Trump administration is using the DOJ to put pressure on CNN for its supposed anti-Trump bias. Nobody involved is directly saying so, but the general tone seems to be that everyone thinks this holdup is simply because of Trump’s hatred for CNN—or, you know, the entire First Amendment.
Kellyanne Conway has denied that there’s anything weird happening here and she claims that she hasn’t talked about this specific merger with Trump recently, but everything she says is worthless anyway so that hardly matters.