President Trump, who has mastered the 24-hour cable news cycle and social media like no other president, bashed Comcast Corp. on Saturday in two tweets that called Comcast-owned news channels MSNBC and NBC purveyors of fake news on the Mexican border crisis. But then Trump courted the Comcast media empire on Monday by calling into CNBC and using it as a bully pulpit to put pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates and to encourage China to make a deal on tariffs.
“[The Federal Reserve] made a big mistake,” Trump told CNBC’s Squawk Box anchor Joe Kernen. “They raised interest rates far too fast, that’s No. 1.”
As for tariffs on Chinese manufacturing products imported into the United States, Trump told Kernen on Monday that tariffs were “a beautiful thing” and China would have to agree to a deal because it would be “decimated” by them.
Trump has been most comfortable talking with the conservative Fox News or its affiliated channels, which are controlled by Rupert Murdoch. During his presidency, Trump has criticized Comcast for its economic power and its news operations as fake news.
On Saturday, Trump called MSNBC -- a left-leaning news channel -- the “opposition," adding that the “the hatred Comcast has is amazing.” While Trump tweeted that MSNBC’s ratings, along with those of CNN, are “WAY DOWN,” MSNBC says it had its highest ratings ever in 2018.
Trump also complained about NBC on Saturday, lumping it CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Last year, Trump called Comcast more dangerous for the economy that the merger of AT&T phone giant and Time Warner, a deal which the Justice Department sued to break up. The Justice Department lost the case in the federal courts and the deal closed in 2018.