CNN rips Trump demand to retract poll as like threats that ‘typically come from countries like Venezuela’
CNN on Wednesday dismissed a demand from the Trump 2020 campaign that it withdraw a poll as “factually and legally baseless” and the type of threat that has “typically come from countries like Venezuela.”
“To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40 year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN’s polling results,” wrote CNN General Counsel David Vigilante in a letter to the campaign.
“To the extent we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media,” he added.
“Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety,” Vigilante concluded.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) June 10, 2020
Trump and his campaign sent CNN a cease-and-desist letter earlier Wednesday, demanding the network retract a poll that showed former Vice President Joe Biden leading Trump by 14 points.
“It’s a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President,” reads the letter signed by Trump 2020 senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis and the campaign’s chief operating officer, Michael Glassner.
The letter, which cites Trump pollster John McLaughlin, also demands a “full, fair, and conspicuous retraction, apology, and clarification to correct its misleading conclusions” and claims that the poll is “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling.”
CNN writer Henry Enten and CNN Politics reporter Veronica Stracqualursi also pushed back on McLaughlin in a story reporting on the letter.
“McLaughlin says CNN’s survey is a ‘skewed anti-Trump poll of only 25% Republican.’ That percentage of respondents, however, is consistent with several other major polls that use live telephone interviews, which provide the most reliable snapshot of the race,” Enten and Stracqualursi explained.
“McLaughlin this week argued that pollsters should include a third of Republicans in surveys to reflect the 33% that they represented in the 2016 vote, but exit polls nearly always have higher shares of partisans and lower shares of independents than pre-election phone polls,” they added.
The CNN-SSRS survey also places the president’s approval at 38 percent, his lowest number in 17 months in the poll.
Biden’s lead in the RealClearPolitics index of polls stands at 8 points, a 2.5-point jump from two weeks ago.