Zuckerberg’s CNN message to George Soros

THE STORY — Mark Zuckerberg appeared Tuesday night on CNN, defending himself from much of the criticism that he and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have received in the wake of last week’s New York Times exposé. “A lot of the criticism around the biggest issues has been fair, but I do think that if we are going to be real, there is this bigger picture as well, which is that we have a different world view than some of the folks who are covering us,” Zuckerberg told CNN Business’s Laurie Segall from Facebook’s California headquarters.

Zuckerberg reiterated that stepping down as Facebook’s chairman was “not the plan.” He maintained support for Sandberg, saying, “Sheryl is a really important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts for a lot of the biggest issues that we have… She’s been an important partner to me for ten years. I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come.”

ON DEFINERS GOING AFTER GEORGE SOROS — Segall: The PR firm was founded by Republican political strategists and it launched a campaign linking Facebook critics to George Soros. This is a common tactic used by anti-Semitic and alt-right groups. That’s why people were so shocked when they found out about this… Does that strike you as stooping low? 

Zuckerberg: “I wasn’t particularly happy about that piece of it, and that is certainly a big part of what — when I read about it — made me want to look into this deeply. The intention was never to attack an individual, but there are these lobbying groups and folks out there whose primary focus is to attack the company. And I do think it’s fine to push back on that.”

Segall: Do you approve of the way they went after George Soros? Do you approve of that methodology? 

Zuckerberg: “I don’t think that this is the type of thing that our company should be engaging with.” 

Segall: What would be your message to George Soros?

Zuckerberg: “Well, I know that George Soros has been the target of a lot of really horrendous attacks, and I think that is terrible. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone who’s associated with our company to be part of that.”[Video

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