CNN defends rejecting ‘false’ Trump campaign ad

CNN said Tuesday that is refusing to air a campaign ad from President Trump because the spot refers to the media as “fake news.”

“CNN requested that the advertiser remove the false graphic that says mainstream media is ‘fake news,'” CNN’s public relations department tweeted Tuesday.

{mosads}”The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false. Per our policy, it will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted. Those are the facts.”

The ad, released by the Trump campaign on Monday, dismisses questions about whether the administration’s first 100 days lived up to the president’s promises on the campaign trail.

After ratting off a list of successes — including the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, authorization of the Keystone XL Pipeline and eliminated regulations — the ad blames the media for hiding those accomplishments.

“You wouldn’t know that from watching the news,” the narrator says as a group of cable news reporters — including CNN’s Wolf Blitzer — appear on the screen.

The Trump campaign fired back in a statement that said CNN “epitomizes” the meaning of “fake news.”

“This is censorship pure and simple,” Executive Director Michael Glassner said in a statement. ”By rejecting our ad, CNN has proven that it supports censorship is biased and fears an opposing point of view.

“President Trump’s loyal supporters know the truth: The mainstream media mislead, misguide, deceive, and distract,” he added.

Tuesday’s kerfuffle is the latest in the clash between Trump and the network, which has become a regular target for Trump.

In an interview last month with The Associated Press, Trump claimed to no longer watch the network because of its perceived unfair coverage. He also has regularly railed against the network on the campaign trail and has not appeared on the network since last August.

But CNN has been willing to push back on Trump’s criticisms in statements standing by its reporters and their reporting.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel called CNN’s decision to reject the ad “clearly biased.”

“Freedom of speech is a hallmark of our nation’s founding, and it is concerning that CNN, who I assume to be a strong supporter of the first amendment, would stifle speech that they disagree with,” McDaniel said in a statement. “CNN should allow the ad to be aired and apologize for their attempt to block the President’s message.”

–Joe Concha contributed to this report, which was last updated at 6:45 p.m.

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