Fox News host Tucker Carlson released bombshell audio Tuesday of CNN President Jeff Zucker and Michael Cohen, the disgraced attorney who was once a member of President Donald Trump's inner circle, indicating that Zucker once attempted to curry favor with Trump through Cohen.
The conversation took place on March 10, 2016, hours before the final Republican primary debate — which CNN hosted.
What are the details?
In the call, Zucker claimed any aspiring presidential candidate needed CNN on his side to win election:
Here's the thing … you cannot be elected president of the United States without CNN. Fox and MSNBC are irrelevant — irrelevant — in electing a general election candidate. ... You guys have had great instincts, great guts and great understanding of everything. But you're missing the boat on how it works going forward.
Upon being told by Cohen to email Trump himself, Zucker refused — but admitted he is "fond" of "the boss," a reference to Trump:
I'm very conscious of not putting too much in email, as you're a lawyer, as you understand. And, you know, and as fond as I am of the boss, he also has a tendency, like, you know, if I call him or I email him, he then is capable of going out in his next rally and saying that we just talked, and I can't have that, if you know what I'm saying.
Zucker then told Cohen that he wished he could talk to Trump every day:
It's not that I don't want to talk to [Trump] every day. I've just got to be careful because I've just got to be careful. I just don't want him talking about it on the campaign trail. But you know what? I'm going to give him a call right now and I'm going to wish him luck in the debate tonight.
Shockingly, the CNN president even said he wanted Trump to host a weekly show on CNN:
I have all these proposals for him. Like, I want to do a weekly show with him and all this stuff. Is he back in New York tomorrow, do you know?
Later in the call, Zucker admitted that Trump would win the debate:
I think the other guys are going to gang up on him tremendously … and I think he's going to hold his own, as he does every time. He's never lost a debate. And you know what? He's good at this. … He's going to do great.
Finally, Zucker dispensed political advice for Trump. The CNN president said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would repeatedly refer to Trump as a "con man" during the debate, instructing Cohen to have Trump's aides constantly refer to him as such preceding the debate so that Rubio's attacks would not faze him.
New Audio: CNN chief Jeff Zucker cozies up to Michael Cohen www.youtube.com
A CNN representative did not respond to a request for comment.