ATLANTA (CN) — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign accused CNN of censorship on Tuesday after the network refused to run an ad touting Trump’s political acumen over the first 100 days of his presidency and includes an attack labeling major news networks “fake news.”
The commercial, which was created by Trump’s still-active campaign committee, enumerates the president’s latest initiatives and announces that “America has rarely seen such success.” But, the ad claims, “you wouldn’t know it from watching the news.”
Images of several prominent news anchors, including MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, and CBS News’ Scott Pelley appear immediately after that announcement. Red text reading “FAKE NEWS” is stamped over the journalists’ faces.
“CNN requested that the advertiser remove the graphic that says the mainstream media is ‘fake news,” a spokesperson for CNN said in a statement. “The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted.”
The ad is part of the Trump campaign’s effort to secure the 2020 election for the president. On Monday, the campaign announced that it would spend $1.5 million to air the “First 100 Days” ad on television networks throughout the nation and in specific places online.
“It is absolutely shameful to see the media blocking the positive message that President Trump is trying to share with the country,” said Michael Glassner, executive director for the Trump 2020 campaign, in a statement released Tuesday. “It’s clear that CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech because it doesn’t fit their narrative.”
The statement went on to claim that CNN “takes issue with the ad’s message calling out the mainstream media for peddling fake news and not reporting on the fact that President Trump is making America great again.”
The term “fake news” was originally used to identify articles and news broadcasts created with the deliberate intention to spread misinformation. However, the term has become a favorite of President Trump’s to describe pieces of journalism that he does not like.
CNN, in particular, has drawn the president’s ire many times over the past 100 days for reporting on the scandals, leaks and questionable activities of the current administration.