Keith Olbermann: Trump ‘exerted influence’ on CNN talks

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Keith Olbermann reveals in a recent New York Times Magazine interview that he was in talks to rejoin MSNBC or CNN, but says “influence” from President Trump is one of the reasons the talks failed.

In the Sunday Times Magazine piece titled “Keith Olbermann Was Once Cable News’s Liberal Standard-Bearer. Now He’s Missing Its Boom Times,” the former “Countdown” and “SportsCenter” host shared he had negotiated with CNN, where he worked in the 1980s.

“There was an offer, then there wasn’t an offer, then there was an offer. And Trump didn’t like me, and apparently exerted influence on that,” said Olbermann.

A CNN spokeswomen told the Times Magazine that there were brief conversations about Olbermann joining Headline News Network (HLN), which is also owned by Time Warner, well over a year ago — and without any involvement from Trump.


The 58-year-old also shared that he spoke with MSNBC “for over a year” about returning to the network for a third time, but was asked to do a program without the fiery commentary he was best known for. Olbermann says he walked away from the talks as a result.

He had worked at MSNBC twice before, once from 2003-2011 as “Countdown” host and prior to that as “The Big Show” host in 1997 and 1998.

Olbermann currently hosts “The Resistance” on GQ’s YouTube channel and

Earlier this month, Olbermann called President Trump a “pitiful thug” who wants to squash free speech.

“Freedom of speech is the purpose of the United States of America,” Olbermann said. “And every time this country’s government has tried to alter that fact or has ignored it in the slightest, it has met with disaster.

“Constitutional change to limit free speech would not be just a step on a slippery slope, but it would putting the entire nation in an 18-wheeler and driving it full speed down that slippery slope.”


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