CNN President Jeff Zucker said Thursday that President Trump has avoided interviews with his network because "he knows he would be held to account” on CNN.
“I believe CNN is the only major news organization in the country that has not had an interview with Trump as president,” Zucker said. “I do think that tells you he knows he would be held to account on CNN.”
Trump has not appeared on CNN since August, and his last MSNBC appearance was in May 2016. Trump did sit down with NBC's Lester Holt in April, however.
Zucker, speaking to reporters in New York at an event celebrating the anniversary of CNN’s “New Day” morning show, said he and Trump haven't spoken since December. The two have a relationship that goes back to their NBC days, when Zucker was president of NBCUniversal and Trump starred on "The Apprentice."
The president has mentioned Zucker by name in recent months, claiming he was responsible for getting the 52-year-old former "Today" producer hired as president of NBC.
“I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it’s true and, you know, over a course of time, I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly and I’m OK with that," Trump said to CNN's Jim Acosta during a February press conference.
"But I’m not OK when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred," Trump said, adding, "Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?”
The president has often called CNN "fake news," while the network has strongly pushed back to refute that claim.
A recent Harvard study showed that CNN and NBC have covered Trump more negatively than any other news outlets, with 93 percent of all stories on the president being negative.
In contrast, CNN rival Fox News came in with 52 percent of Trump stories being negative.
CNN finished behind Fox and MSNBC in the cable news prime-time ratings race in May, but the 37-year-old network's numbers are still up 48 percent when compared to the same time the previous year.