In February, President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner told an executive at CNN's parent company Time Warner that they should fire 20 percent of the cable news agency's staff.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kushner told Gary Ginsburg, Time Warner's executive vice president of corporate marketing and a former lawyer for the Clinton White House that "CNN should fire percent of its staff because they were so wrong in their analysis of the election and how it would turn out, people familiar with the matter say."

The White House now claims Kushner made the comments in jest -- but at "Time Warner, it wasn’t taken lightly." CNN has been a favorite punching bag for Trump, who has maligned the network repeatedly on the campaign trail, after winning last year's election, and since taking office this January.

The revelation of those comments came days after reports that the Department of Justice was pressuring Time Warner to sell CNN before approving the telecom giant's merger with AT&T. Though AT&T's CEO claimed that no such request had been made, CNN staffers told The Daily Beast that they are "stunned" and "scared" in light of the news.