The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is calling on Facebook to remove an ad President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE’s campaign is running that questions former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE’s role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.
"Yes, any false ad should be fact checked and removed, including this one,” said Daniel Wessel, the deputy war room director at the DNC. “Facebook owes that to its users.”
The Trump campaign and RNC are putting $10 million behind an ad campaign alleging that Biden pushed for a Ukrainian prosecutor to be fired to protect his son, Hunter Biden, who at the time was on the board of directors for a Ukrainian energy company that had been investigated for corruption.
The Obama administration has long said it sought the prosecutor’s removal because he had not done enough to root out corruption in the country.
There is no evidence that Biden pushed for the prosecutor’s removal to protect his son, although the appearance of a conflict of interest has opened the former vice president up to criticism.
The revelation that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, coupled with a whistleblower complaint alleging a White House coverup, provoked the House to move forward with an impeachment inquiry last week.
The president and his allies are describing the impeachment effort as “coup” to overturn the 2016 election.
“Democrats are perpetrating another hoax on Americans with their impeachment farce, so it’s no wonder they want to block any opposing opinions from being heard,” said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh. “Democrats can only succeed if their coup attempt goes unchallenged.”
Democrats are increasingly worried that the Trump campaign, which together with the Republican National Committee raised $125 million in the third quarter, will swamp Facebook with misleading ads aimed at distorting public opinion on Biden and the impeachment inquiry.
The DNC is ramping up pressure on Facebook to fact check and remove ads they deem false.
“Trump's ad is part of an effort to push a false narrative intended to deceive and distract from the fact that he pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political rival in order to help his reelection, while withholding critical U.S. aid to that country -- and his own White House released a document that proves it,” Wessel said. “His campaign relies on a shameful strategy built on outright lies to the American public about the content of his phone call with the Ukrainian president. We all have a role to play in combating these lies, and that includes Facebook.”
Facebook has launched an independent fact checking group with power to suppress false and misleading information shared on its platform, but political ads are exempt from that process.
“We don’t believe that it's an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician's speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny,” Facebook vice president Nick Clegg wrote in a blog post this week.