Liberal commentator Keith Olbermann claimed in an interview Monday he was once close to inking a deal with CNN, but President Donald Trump nixed the idea.
In a New York Times interview, the former MSNBC anchor said that CNN discussed the idea before Trump became president.
"There was an offer, then there wasn't an offer, then there was an offer. And Trump didn't like me, and apparently exerted influence on that," Olbermann claimed.
CNN told the Times that the discussion with Olbermann was actually about him joining HLN, its sister network, and that the "brief preliminary conversations" took place over a year ago. The network denies that Trump ever got involved.
If the president does indeed have it in for Olbermann, he has been very quiet about it. Trump has never tweeted about the outspoken liberal, despite the president's eagerness to pick public fights with dozen of journalists and public figures.
The only time Trump has ever mentioned Olbermann was when the latter announced he was moving out of Trump Tower in March 2016.
"Keith is a failed broadcaster, and the people in the building couldn't stand him," Trump told CNN Money in an email. "He is just trying to use 'Trump' to get publicity and stay relevant."
Nor has there been much indication that Trump has "influence" to exert over CNN. A week before Olbermann made his accusation, CNN publicly refused to run an ad produced by Trump's campaign arm.
Before his current gig hosting an online show at GQ.com, Olbermann was fired by ESPN, after being fired by Current TV, after being fired by MSNBC, after being fired by Fox Sports, after being fired by ESPN. (He was fired from ESPN multiple times.)