Donald Trump urged his supporters on Monday to stop using AT&T, saying if people dropped the telecommunications company, coverage of him on CNN would become better.
“I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway,” Trump tweeted. “It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News! Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!”
The post came shortly after Trump touched down in the United Kingdom for his second official visit to the country during his presidency.
It’s unclear what prompted the president’s latest outburst toward the company, but Trump has long been a critic of the network, which he routinely denigrates on Twitter as “fake news.” He has also referred to CNN (and other network) reporters as “enemies of the people.”
A rep for AT&T declined to comment, a rep for CNN did not immediately respond to request comment.
It’s the first time the president has urged his more than 60 million Twitter followers to go after the network’s parent company as a pressure tactic. Last June, AT&T formally acquired CNN as as part of a broader acquisition of Time Warner. The deal was a painful one. The Trump Justice Department repeatedly tried to block the merger on anti-trust grounds — while critics insisted the government’s position was really just motivated by the president’s personal dislike of CNN.
The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, completed around the same time, met with no resistance from the Justice Department.
Since being elected president in 2016, the president has routinely made a punching bag of CNN, saving particular ire for the network’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta. In November, Trump revoked Acosta’s press credentials after a particularly nasty exchange in the White House. A full scale lawsuit was averted after the president backed down. The point has been mostly moot as Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has not held briefing since March.