Trump Demands DirecTV Drop CNN, MSNBC in Rant Against Newsmax Removal

Former President Donald Trump is calling on DirecTV to drop CNN and MSNBC following the announcement this week that the television provider will no longer carry Newsmax.

Trump urged DirecTV and AT&T, which has a 70 percent stake in the company, to reverse the decision and continue to provide the conservative channel and instead drop two networks that Trump alleges spread "fake news."

In a Thursday evening post on Truth Social, Trump said AT&T and DirecTV should cancel CNN and MSNBC, the latter of which he referred to as "MSDNC" because "their Ratings are so pathetically bad that it must be an embarrassment to be associated with them." He said the Republican Party "DEMANDS" that Newsmax and OAN, another right-leaning network that DirecTV dropped last year, be reinstated.

Trump soon after posted again on Truth Social to reiterate his calls for DirecTV to drop CNN and MSNBC in a post composed entirely in capital letters, writing, "FAKE NEWS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO 'STINK UP' OUR AIRWAVES!"

Trump alleged in his second post that DirecTV is "DOING REALLY BADLY" and that AT&T is "DOING EVEN WORSE." DirecTV and AT&T should both "BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES FOR DROPPING NEWSMAX AND OAN," the post said. "WE SHOULD DROP THEM!!!"

Trump calls on DirecTV to drop CNN
Former President Donald Trump is photographed arriving for a New Year's event at his Mar-a-Lago home on December 31, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump on Thursday called on DirecTV to reverse its earlier decision to drop Newsmax and urged the television provider to instead drop CNN and MSNBC. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Later Thursday evening, Trump shared a link on Truth Social to a CNBC article reporting that DirecTV was beginning to lay off some of its managerial staff.

"If DirecTV has really cut Newsmax, which is doing well in the ratings, I'm cutting DirecTV—I don't want them anymore, and that includes parent company AT&T," Trump wrote. He went on to share another link to an article about declining CNN ratings.

DirecTV said earlier this week it wanted to keep Newsmax on its list of provided channels but was unable to do so due to increasing fees from Newsmax. In response, Newsmax alleged in a Wednesday tweet that the move was a form of "censorship" and urged viewers to "fight back." The tweet included a link to a website where Newsmax calls DirecTV's explanation of why the channel was dropped "a phony claim."

"It's clear Direct TV is seeking to muzzle conservative voices because there will be presidential elections in 2024," the website says.

Prior to his Thursday posts on Truth Social, Trump spoke out against DirecTV's decision on Wednesday, calling the move "disgusting" and saying it would be "a big blow to the Republican Party" and the rest of the U.S.

"I, for one, will be dropping all association with AT&T and DIRECTV, and I have plenty," Trump said Wednesday. "This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!"

Several conservatives in Congress have also spoken out this week against DirecTV's decision, with many signing a letter requesting more information from DirecTV and its owners. The letter says in part that the decisions to drop OAN last year and Newsmax this year suggest DirecTV "is actively working to limit conservative viewpoints on its system."

On Thursday evening, DirecTV responded to a few Twitter users who tagged the company in their objections to the Newsmax decision.

In one tweeted response, DirecTV said it recognized "the situation might be disappointing" but that DirecTV "made clear to Newsmax over the past several months that it would like to continue offering its content."

In another response on Twitter, DirecTV wrote that Newsmax "is now demanding significant fees that DIRECTV would have to pass on to its broad customer base. That is not an option."

When reached for comment, DirecTV provided the following statement to Newsweek: "On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax's demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.

"We continually evaluate the most relevant programming to provide our customers, and are excited to announce today that we're bringing a new conservative-leaning network, The First, to all of our customers in the coming days."

Update 1/27/23, 11:24 a.m. ET: This story was updated to include details of AT&T's ownership stake in DirecTV and a statement from DirecTV.