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Report: Politico's Owner Suggested Executives Pray That Trump Won in 2020

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Politico is facing new criticism in the wake of a report about its owner and an email he sent involving the 2020 election.

According to The Washington Post, Mathias Döpfner, whose company Axel Springer owns Politico, wants to “be the leading digital publisher in democracies around the world.”

“He’s concerned that the American press has become too polarized — legacy brands like the New York Times and The Washington Post drifting to the left, in his view, while conservative media falls under the sway of Trumpian ‘alternative facts.’ So in Politico, the fast-growing Beltway political journal, he sees a grand opportunity,” the Post explained.

Döpfner told the Post, “We want to prove that being nonpartisan is actually the more successful positioning.”

While the paper points out that the media mogul’s politics “have remained something of a mystery,” a 2020 email appeared to show support for some of the policies of former President Donald Trump.

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The Post obtained an email sent by Döpfner to his closest executives weeks before the 2020 election that asked, “Do we all want to get together for an hour in the morning on November 3 and pray that Donald Trump will again become President of the United States of America?”

“Döpfner went on to argue that Trump had made the right moves on five of what he deemed the six most important issues of the last half century — ‘defending the free democracies’ against Russia and China, pushing NATO allies to up their contributions, ‘tax reforms,’ and Middle East peace efforts, as well as challenging tech monopolies — if falling short, he implied, on climate change,” the paper added.

When asked by the Post about the email, Döpfner claimed it was “intrinsically false,” and that it “doesn’t exist. It has never been sent and has never been even imagined.”

However, the paper added, “When shown a printout of the text, Döpfner allowed a glimmer of recognition. It’s possible, he said, that he may have sent the email ‘as an ironic, provocative statement in the circle of people that hate Donald Trump,’ because that’s exactly the kind of ironic, provocative thing that Döpfner, a garrulous and enthusiastic texter, likes to do.”

Do you think the email was supposed to be ironic?

Regardless of whether the email was meant to be “ironic,” it still set off a firestorm on Twitter.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote, “Dear Politico CEO: If you are going to be a Trump supporter, at least have the courage to admit it. Lying is never a good look for a media organization’s CEO. You didn’t just remain silent or say you didn’t remember. You went above and beyond and embellished your lie. Pathetic.”

Check out some of the other reactions below:

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The report on Politico’s owner comes as another major news outlet is facing criticism after its new owners started making some changes.

CNN’s new CEO, Chris Licht, reportedly wants to make the network “less partisan.” Over the summer, there were some staff shakeups and more changes are reportedly on the way.

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