President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has threatened to sue TV stations airing a new political ad in key battleground states. The ad focuses on Trump’s attempts to downplay the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Priorities USA, a liberal super PAC, released the ad called ‘Exponential Threat’.
It is running on stations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The ad features audio of President Trump claiming the Coronavirus was ‘totally under control.’
“This is their new hoax,” Trump says at the start of the ad.
His campaign has objected to the ad’s suggestion that he dismissed the disease as a ‘hoax’.
Watch the ad:
The trump campaign sent a cease and desist letter to Priorities USA for this ad. So I’m retweeting it. pic.twitter.com/0Q1QO9TeQT
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) March 26, 2020
Alex Cannon, an attorney for the campaign, has sent cease and desist letters to all the TV stations currently airing the ad.
“PUSA’s advertisement is false, misleading, and deceptive, and we formally demand that your station refuse to continue airing it to meet your responsibilities not to broadcast false information,” Cannon wrote.
“Should you fail to immediately cease broadcasting PUSA’s ad ‘Exponential Threat,’ Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. will have no choice but to pursue all legal remedies available to it in law and in equity,” Cannon went on.
“We will not stand idly by and allow you to broadcast false, deceptive, and misleading information concerning President’s Trump’s healthcare positions without consequence.”
There has been some dispute about Trump’s use of the word ‘hoax’. A fact check by The Washington Post claimed that the President wasn’t referring to the virus itself. Instead, he was criticizing attempts to use the issue against him for political reasons.
However, the Trump campaign’s attempt to get the ad pulled have boosted its popularity on social media. Many Twitter users have been sharing the ad because of the cease and desist letters.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media