Trump Campaign Warns of Legal Action Against PAC's Coronavirus Ad

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 26, 2020

The video ad, created by Priorities USA Action Fund, uses for a backdrop a chart with quickly rising coronavirus cases while highlighting several of Trump's statements that have downplayed the coronavirus crisis.

"We have it totally under control. One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear", Trump says in various audio clips in the ad. It's one person coming in from China. "We'll keep telling the truth and holding Donald Trump accountable". I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand.

In recent days he has again compared the epidemic to the seasonal flu and questioned the necessity of tough quarantine measures to stop its spread by saying such drastic efforts were not taken in response to vehicle crashes or flu outbreaks.

But the website, Snopes, said Trump was actually comparing Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the outbreak to their efforts to impeach him when he used the word "hoax".

The ad, running in key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, was cut by the liberal super PAC Priorities USA, according to The Hill.

But the Trump campaign wrote a cease-and-desist letter to TV stations, took specific issue with how the ad "stitched together fragments from multiple speeches by President Trump to fraudulently and maliciously imply that President Trump called the coronavirus outbreak a "hoax.'" Trump, in a February rally, was "abundantly clear" that the "hoax" was "Democrats" politicization of the coronavirus outbreak", the campaign said.

It adds, "your station has a responsibility to 'protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising, '" and threatens that "your failure to remove this deceptive ad ... could put your station's license in jeopardy".

Josh Schwerin, a strategist with Priorities USA, told The Hill that the Trump campaign's threats of legal action were a "stunt". "Let's make sure as many people as possible see this ad".

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