CNN Rejects Trump Campaign Ad Peddling Biden Conspiracy Theory

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House for Camp David on August 30, 2019. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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October 3, 2019 2:01 p.m.

CNN will not air a Trump campaign ad that both attacks the network’s own reporters and boosts President Donald Trump’s false claims about 2020 candidate Joe Biden, a CNN spokesperson confirmed to TPM on Thursday.

“CNN is rejecting the ad, as it does not meet our advertising standards,” the spokesperson said. “Specifically, in addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN.”

The 30-second ad echoes Trump’s and his allies’ disproven conspiracy theory that Biden had gotten a Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating a gas company tied to his son.

It also claims Democrats are trying to impeach Trump for merely asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption during their phone call in July (even though the White House’s own memo on the call proved he had pushed Zelensky to investigate Biden).

“And their media lapdogs fall in line,” the ad narrator says over flashing images of CNN reporters Jim Acosta, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon, along with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh insisted that the ad is “entirely accurate” in an emailed statement to TPM.

“CNN spends all day protecting Joe Biden in their programming, so it’s not surprising that they’re shielding him from truthful advertising too, and then talking to other media outlets about it,” he said.

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