Conservative publisher: Trump and CNN have a 'mutually beneficial relationship'

Ben Domenech, publisher of the online conservative magazine The Federalist, described President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE's relationship with CNN as "mutually beneficial" on Monday. 

"I think this is a mutually beneficial relationship for CNN in terms of the tension between them and the president. They really like to lean into it," Domenech told Hill TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on "Rising." 

"I think, frankly, if not for the fact that this tension existed, we would be talking, frankly, about the inability of CNN to exploit this current presidency for the high ratings that we've seen on MSNBC and on Fox. Instead, this is a conversation only about kind of this relationship and the tensions between the various reporters," he continued. inued. 

"They have a job to do. I think they should consistently focus on doing it, and they should blow off the president's insults for what they are, which is him being him," he said, referring to CNN. 

Democratic pollster Margie Omero responded on the show, slamming the administration's treatment of the press. 

"It's embarrassing," Omero said. "The president uses this, and his White House team, this for political effect. They have no transparency, and they've created a situation, or they've worsened a situation where people don't trust institutions. You now have a majority of people who approve of Trump, who agree that the media is the enemy of the people. I don't know how we recover from this after this nightmare is over."  

Domenech's comments come after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Saturday that the White House decided to nix an interview between CNN and national security adviser John Bolton after a CNN reporter “disrespected” Trump earlier this week. 

CNN anchor Jake Tapper said in a tweet on Saturday that the White House intervened and canceled a scheduled interview with Bolton, who according to Tapper “remains fully prepared to do the interview." But Sanders referred to an exchange between White House correspondent Jim Acosta and Trump earlier in the week, in which Trump refused to take questions from the network. 



“CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN,” Trump responded.

“Let’s go to a real network,” he added, giving a question to Fox News's John Roberts.

“Well, we’re a real network too, sir,” Acosta responded.

— Julia Manchester