Neoconservative NeverTrump billionaire Paul Singer is aiming for a takeover of another big corporation, and patriots should be concerned. His Elliott Management Corporation sent a letter to AT&T stakeholders last month urging them to agree to a proposal that would harm the company’s workers and put more money in Singer’s pocket. The proposal would slash jobs at AT&T and sell off many of its assets.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T reached a detente with Singer, giving him a few board members and other concessions. But the report notes that he has not promised to cease criticism or future takeover attempts. It’s likely he will simply use his new power to promote the changes in his activist letter.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton said Singer’s proposal “reads almost like a parody of a rapacious scheme to inflate a company’s stock price by laying off employees and selling off assets.” Even though Khanna is a staunch progressive, he’s not off the mark here.
Unfortunately, President Trump is off the mark about the proposal. AT&T happens to be the corporate owner of CNN. The president sees an opportunity in Singer’s potential takeover to bring the “fake news network” to heel. His loathing of the network is well known. As Trump tweeted last month:
But most importantly, @CNN is bad for the USA. Their International Division spews bad information & Fake News all over the globe. This is why foreign leaders are always asking me, “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” It is a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September9, 2019
Trump evidently believes the move will somehow clean up CNN’s bias and outrageous coverage. This view horrifies the mainstream media.
“Mr. Trump is openly hinting that CNN should be sold off in an effort to modify its coverage to something more of his liking. This is an increasingly common tactic among authoritarian leaders: no need to shutter a TV station, just find a friendly businessman or oligarch to buy it,” a Washington Post op-ed shrieked.
The Post has no reason to fear: Singer is an unfriendly oligarch who shares CNN’s biases on immigration, foreign policy, and most social issues. It’s hard to see how the neoconservative version of George Soros would improve the cable news network in ways that would please this president.
Singer was an early opponent of Trump and claimed the future president’s policies would cause a “widespread global depression.” He was the first to contract Fusion GPS to look into Trump’s ties to Russia, an effort that eventually led to the notorious and discredited Trump Dossier. That dossier was the basis of the Mueller investigation, a matter Trump has not forgotten. Singer also funded a PAC that was dedicated solely to stifling Trump’s 2016 candidacy.
Since then, Singer has warmed up to Trump and continues to donate money to the party led by the man he once tried to bring down. But he still doesn’t support the America First agenda.
Singer claimed Trump’s trade protectionism would cause economic devastation across the world. Instead, it has helped create one of the strongest economies in years and challenged China’s nefarious practices. Millions of workers across America support Trump’s trade policies. Singer prefers policies that enrich his own interests at the expense of the national interest.
Singer is also out-of-sync with Trump on immigration. He pushed for the GOP to embrace amnesty in 2013 and positioned himself as a donor who wants more immigration. Trump won on opposition to amnesty.
Singer has given to many outlets and institutions that promote a neoconservative foreign policy, such as the Washington Free Beacon and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. This policy position is opposed to Trump’s non-interventionist instincts. These same groups want America to stay in Afghanistan and Syria indefinitely, an idea Trump does not share.
Besides immigration and foreign policy, the hedge-fund billionaire encourages the GOP to dispense with social conservatism. Singer’s has spent tens of millions of dollars on gay rights groups, going far beyond just marriage. He is a major proponent of “anti-discrimination” laws that would undermine religious liberty, and even funds far-left organizations such as the National LGBTQ Task Force, whose major initiatives include “queering reproductive health, rights, and justice” such as taxpapyer funded abortions and “trans-inclusive sex education” in public schools.
Singer is no friend to Trump or the Greatness Agenda. He is part of the elite power structure that wants to destroy populism and enshrine globalism as the only choice. Trump shouldn’t be so eager to hand his false friend the reins of AT&T—it will turn out to be yet another betrayal.