Donald Trump, Jr. attacked CNN for not running his father’s controversial campaign ad, and the network had a response: the ad is too racist.
This week, President Trump released an ad focusing on an illegal immigrant convicted of killing police officers in California. The ad claimed that the cop-killer was let into the United States by Democrats and that Democrats allowed him to stay, though he actually came while George W. Bush was president after being deported during Bill Clinton’s presidency. He was also released by the office of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was notoriously hard-line on illegal immigration and who received a pardon from Trump last year after being found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to stop profiling Hispanics.
The advertisement also focused on the migrant caravan moving through Mexico, showing images of groups of people attempting to break through barriers. Trump had called for 10,000 to 15,000 troops to be sent to the U.S.-Mexico border, even though critics say that the caravan is still many weeks away from arriving and that there are likely to be fewer than 1,000 people remaining when it reaches the United States. The migrants are also expected to seek asylum once they reach the United States, meaning they will be entering legally.
The ad drew bipartisan backlash, and CNN joined many others in calling it “racist.”
Donald Trump, Jr. lashed out at the network on Saturday, claiming that the network only runs “fake news” and refused to discuss the issues raised in the ad.
“CNN refused to run this ad… I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda. Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday,” Trump, Jr. tweeted.
The response from CNN was swift, saying they declined because the ad was racist.
CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts. ????
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 3, 2018
The ad drew a particularly strong backlash given the timing, being released just a week after a series of violent acts carried out by right-wing extremists. An ardent Trump supporter is accused of mailing pipe bombs to a group of people frequently targeted by Trump on Twitter. Days later, a man opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people.
Just an FYI because facts matter — The cop-killer in Trump's racist ad was actually released by Joe Arpaio's office in 1998.
Also, on August 25, 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio.
On November 6th vote for honesty and truth. https://t.co/JZ7uisMVv4
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) November 3, 2018
CNN has already been harsh in its response to Donald Trump’s campaign ad, calling it the most racist campaign advertisement in the last 30 years.
“The Trump campaign ad is the latest example of the President’s willingness to lie and fear-monger in order to tear at racial and societal divides; to embrace demagoguery to bolster his own political power and the cause of the Republican midterm campaign,” the network noted in an analysis.