Donald Trump has offered to help “low ratings” CNN become a “gold mine” if it turns conservative, while criticising Fox News for pushing a “Democrat agenda”.
The 45th president on Sunday accused his once-treasured conservative television network Fox News of “really pushing the Democrats and the Democrat agenda”, which he argued “gets worse every single day”.
“So many Dems interviewed with only softball questions, then Republican counterparts get creamed,” he wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.
“RINO [Republican in Name Only] Karl Rove is unwatchable, very negative, and on all the time – Has a big record of losing,” he added.
“Not an easy place to be as a Republican, especially with all of the ‘pervert’ purchased ads,” he continued.
Mr Rove, who served as the deputy chief of staff during the Bush administration, has been appearing on Fox News to discuss the US justice department’s investigation on whether Mr Trump violated federal laws prohibiting unauthorised possession of national defence information and obstruction of justice.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has recovered over 100 classified and nearly 11,179 government-owned documents from the one-time president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
Mr Trump in his social media post suggested that if CNN ever turned conservative, it would become a gold mine.
“If ‘low ratings’ CNN ever went Conservative, they would be an absolute gold mine, and I would help them to do so,” he said.
His remarks come amid a reported strategy shift in the organisation to “gain trust” and increase the cable network’s viewership.
Last week, Trump critic and White House correspondent John Harwood announced his exit from the network after calling Mr Trump a “dishonest demagogue”.
In a tweet on 2 September, he wrote: “Biden’s assertion that Trump and extremist Republicans pose a threat to American democracy is, undeniably, true.”
Brian Stelter, who ran the “Reliable Sources” show criticising the right-wing media, also quit CNN last month.
Their unceremonious exit has triggered concerns of a network-wide “purge” under new chief executive Chris Licht’s watch.
“People are freaked out. It almost feels like there’s a pattern. Is there a purge going on,” a CNN journalist who wished to remain anonymous told The Washington Post.
“They seem to be sending a message – ‘Watch what you say. Watch what you do’.”
The resignations and CNN’s reported new approach, which would likely benefit Republican talking points, have drawn social media ire.
“I decided to Boycott CNN as soon as the network began its shift to the right. It was a tough decision, since I’ve been a devout CNN viewer since I was in my 20s,” wrote Jon Cooper, a New York lawmaker and co-founder of The Democratic Coalition super PAC.
“As of now, I’m reluctant to accept any more [CNN] interview invitations,” tweeted Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who recently drew ire from conservative commentators after thanking Joe Biden for enacting student loan debt cancellation measures.
“What is going on at CNN? It’s a serious question. There is a lot of speculation on directives and motives. What’s really going on? And is it being noticed by the audience?” questioned senior journalist Dan Rather, who has appeared on CNN in the past.