CNN sends cease-and-desist letter to Trump campaign over new ad it calls ‘deceptive’

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As rich a resource as CNN may be, given its Trump Derangement, the network wants no part of helping President Donald Trump get reelected.

CNN sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump’s reelection campaign over an ad touting the president’s tireless efforts to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

The letter claims the “American Comeback” ad, which includes an exchange between CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and network chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is a “false, misleading and deceptive” representation of the network’s coverage.

“Is it accurate that if these steps had not been put in place, the stay at home orders, the social distancing orders, as the President said yesterday, it could have been two million people down here in the United States?” Blitzer would ask.

After hemming and hawing, Gupta eventually gets around to answering “yes,” and the Trump ad simply cuts to the chase.

“I mean, you know, these are all models,” Gupta said in full. “It’s a little tough to say, but, you know, if you talk about something that is spreading, you know, very robustly throughout a community. You know, two to three times more contagious than flu, and up to 10 times, perhaps even more than that, more deadly than flu, then yes.”

The ad edited out Blitzer’s remarks about stay at home orders and social distancing, and footage showing canceled flights and an image of an Air China plane flashed on the screen during the exchange.

WarnerMedia associate general counsel Rick D. McMurtry sent the letter — Warner is CNN’s parent company.

The letter claims the Trump ad “purposely and deceptively edits the clip to imply that Mr. Blitzer and Dr. Gupta were crediting the President’s travel ban policy issued in January for saving millions of American lives, when in fact Mr. Blitzer and Dr. Gupta were discussing recently implemented social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders issued by state and local governments,” CNN reported.

“CNN hereby demands that you discontinue airing the advertisement with the CNN clip that has been distorted in such a way as to mislead the public,” McMurtry said in the letter.

The ad features Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo, of New York, and Gavin Newsom, of California, praising the Trump administration for its response to the crisis, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous “let them eat ice cream” moment.

“We’ve built the greatest economy the world has ever seen and we’re going to do it again,” Trump proclaims in the ad.

The president’s campaign shared on Twitter how CNN is “EXTREMELY triggered” by the spot, sharing that it would “be a shame” if people kept sharing it.

https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1257499382003400705?s=20

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh stood by the new ad in a statement to the network.

The statement said, “No discussion of efforts to prevent American deaths from the coronavirus can be had without the understanding that President Trump restricted travel from China in January. Based on that alone, the ad is accurate.”

Saying that CNN is “effectively a Joe Biden Super PAC,” Murtough noted that the network is “once again the only outlet to reject a Trump campaign ad, and has now rejected multiple Trump ads that are demonstrably accurate.”

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Tom Tillison

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