WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump again lashed out at Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger, asking for an apology akin to the call he made to an Obama administration aide following “Roseanne” star Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweet.
“Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Disney and Iger have so far not responded.
The reference to Ross was over an ABC News report late last year that Trump had directed Michael Flynn before the election to reach out to Russian sources. That appeared to be a major new development in the Russia investigation, but it was erroneous, and ABC News retracted the story and apologized on air. Ross was suspended for four weeks.
But the White House has seized on ABC’s decision to cancel “Roseanne” as an example of a “double standard” in the media. Barr’s tweet about Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to Obama, compared her to the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes.” She deleted the post and apologized.
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On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ran through a list of incidents said by figures on ABC as well as ESPN, including Jemele Hill, Joy Behar, Keith Olbermann and Kathy Griffin.
Earlier in the day, Trump had tweeted, “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?”
Iger was part of a White House business advisory council in the early months of Trump’s term, but he resigned in protest after the administration announced it was pulling out of the Paris climate accords.
The Walt Disney Co. is in the midst of seeking Justice Department approval to acquire many of the assets of 21st Century Fox. When the deal was announced in December, the Sanders said that Trump “thinks that — to use one of the president’s favorite words — that this could be a great thing for jobs, and certainly looks forward to — and hoping to see a lot more of those created.”