Trump Campaign Threatens to Sue TV Stations Over ‘Deceptive' Ad Claiming POTUS Called Coronavirus a ‘Hoax'
Added 03-26-20 08:34:02am EST - “President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is threatening to file lawsuits against local news outlets in several battleground states if they continue to air a political ad full of his attempts” - Mediaite.com
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President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is threatening to file lawsuits against local news outlets in several battleground states if they continue to air a political ad full of his attempts to downplay the coronavirus.
Priorities USA, a liberal super PAC, crafted the ad entitled “Exponential Threat,” and it splices audio of Trump from recent weeks as he made dismissive comments about COVID-19’s severity. At the same time, a visual graphic charts the escalation of case numbers in the U.S., which torpedos Trump’s claims to have always taken the virus seriously. The ad is being run on TV stations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, according to The Hill.
The ad uses audio to advance a frequent, misleading claim from Democrats that Trump called the coronavirus a “hoax” at a rally. A fact check by Washington Post explains, however, that Trump was referring to public concerns about the virus and attempts by critics to politicize it against him.
Campaign attorney Alex Cannon sent cease and desist letters to all the stations airing the ad, saying they will take legal action if they don’t stop airing it.
“PUSA’s advertisement is false, misleading, and deceptive, and we formally demand that your station refuse to continue airing it to meet your responsibilities not to broadcast false information,” the letter says. “Should you fail to immediately cease broadcasting PUSA’s ad ‘Exponential Threat,’ Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. will have no choice but to pursue all legal remedies available to it in law and in equity; we will not stand idly by and allow you to broadcast false, deceptive, and misleading information concerning President’s Trump’s healthcare positions without consequence.”
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