WASHINGTON (CN) – The Trump re-election campaign accused CNN of censorship Tuesday for its refusal to run a new political ad, the rebuke coming just hours after the president deleted a controversial retweet disparaging the cable news network.
Trump’s eventful morning began as his days often do, on Twitter.
Early Tuesday he shared a cartoon on Twitter that showed a train plowing into a figure with a CNN logo covering his head.
“FAKE NEWS CAN’T STOP THE TRUMP TRAIN,” the tweet said.
The retweet immediately drew fire as insensitive coming as it did just three days after an alleged Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr. drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others injured.
Fields, 20, of Maumee, Ohio, is facing second degree murder charges, along with three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of the crash.
Trump deleted the tweet about 30 minutes after he post it, but not before several news organizations captured screenshots of it.
A White House official said early Tuesday that the tweet of the train was posted inadvertently and was deleted as soon as it was noticed.
Hours later the Trump campaign launched an email barrage against CNN, telling the president’s supporters that CNN refused to run an advertisement casting a favorable light on the president’s achievements.
The ad, titled “Let President Trump Do His Job,” portrays several mainstream news anchors, including various CNN stars, as the president’s enemies who “don’t want him to succeed.”
In an emailed statement, Trump campaign director Michael Glassner called it censorship.
“The ad highlights President Trump’s many achievements despite the media ‘attacking our President’ and ‘career politicians standing in his way.’ While CNN’s censorship is predictable, this will not stop or deny our message that ‘President Trump’s plan is working’ for the American people,” the statement said.
Glassner also said that millions of Americans support the president because they distrust the media.
“Today, CNN provided further proof that the network earns this mistrust every day by censoring President Trump’s message to the American people by blocking our paid campaign ad. Clearly, the only viewpoint CNN allows on air is CNN’S,” Glassner said.
But CNN said it did not reject the advertisement. The network says it verbally asked for changes to make the ad factual, something it says it does with all ads.
CNN says the campaign asked for the requested changes in writing, but then went ahead and issued a press release criticizing the network before the memo was even written.
A network spokesperson told USA Today, “CNN would accept the ad if the images of reporters and anchors are removed. Anchors and reporters don’t have ‘enemies,’ as the ad states, but they do hold those in power accountable across the political spectrum and aggressively challenge false and misleading statements and investigate wrong-doing.”
Tuesday’s dustup isn’t the first time the campaign has attacked CNN for refusing to air one of its ads.
In May, CNN declined to air an ad about Trump’s first 100 days in office. The network said at the time that the ad was false because of its inclusion of a graphic calling the mainstream media “fake news.”
The network says it has aired five other pro-Trump advertisements since the president took office.
These weren’t Trump’s only controversies on Tuesday. Earlier in the morning, the president re-tweeted and then deleted a post from Jack Posobiec, a self-described member of what he calls the “New Right” movement, who pushed the PizzaGate and Seth Rich conspiracy theories.
Posobiec ‘s tweet linked to a story from an ABC affiliate about Chicago homicides, but alluded to the events in Charlottesville.
“Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No media outrage. Why is that?” Posobiec said.
Posobiec denies claims that he belongs to the alt-right movement, which he called “cancer” in a Twitter post Tuesday afternoon.