President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign (Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.) issued a “cease and desist” letter to numerous television stations on Wednesday evening demanding they stop airing an ad from Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC supportive of the candidacy of former Vice President Joseph Biden.
The ad attacks President Trump over his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ad features a graph with a continuously escalating number of cases in the United States and audio/video of comments President Trump has made over the last few months downplaying the threat of the virus.
In their “cease and desist” letter, the Trump campaign alleges that Priorities USA Action,
“stitched together fragments from multiple speeches by President Trump to fraudulently and maliciously imply that President Trump called the coronavirus outbreak a ‘hoax.’
They further argue that when President Trump made speeches about the virus, he was,
“talking about the Democrat’s politicization of the outbreak when he used the word ‘hoax.’”
Specifically, at a campaign rally in Charleston, South Carolina on February 28, Trump said,
“They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since he got in. It’s all turning, they lost. It’s all turning, think of it, think of it. And this is their new hoax.”
The Trump campaign threatens in the letter to take legal action, but it has been a long-established Trump behavior to use the threat of legal action and “cease and desist” orders from attorneys (legal bullying, in a way) as a means of silencing critics.
Josh Schwerin, senior strategist for Priorities USA, made clear that tactic would not work in this case. He tweeted,
“The Trump campaign is trying to bully TV stations into taking our ad down. They are not going to be successful because it is literally Trump in his own words. Let’s make sure as many people as possible see this ad.”
The best way to do that is to share the ad using one of the links (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) just below this ad.