Donald Trump’s campaign is under fire for a series of misleading Facebook ads implying that House Democrats are pushing allegations of treason against the president in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
The ads hit Facebook late this week, with ABC News reporting that they use the word “treason” when discussing allegations against the president. Other ads hint that the Democrats themselves are guilty of treason for pushing for Trump’s impeachment, picking up on a common word Trump has used against those who publicly criticize him.
As the report pointed out, Democrats have not leveled any allegations of treason against Trump throughout the impeachment inquiry.
“While Democrats remain divided over the scope of potential impeachment charges against the president, House Judiciary Committee Democrats have suggested they could pursue articles on abuse of power and bribery, obstruction of justice and obstruction of Congress — not treason,” the report noted.
Trump’s campaign has gotten in trouble for pushing misleading ads in the past, including a controversial ad during the 2018 midterm elections that was widely decried as racist. The ad tried to blame Democrats for a caravan of asylum seekers traveling from Central America to the United States, warning Americans of an “invasion” of 7,000 immigrants.
The ad was rejected by all major television networks, with even Fox News refusing to run the ad despite the network running a series of segments about the caravan. Facebook also refused to run the ad.
“This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so has been rejected,” a company spokesperson said, via CNBC. “While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”
Facebook has generated its own controversy for a policy not to remove misleading ads for the 2020 presidential campaign, which critics say favors the Trump campaign.
The Trump campaign stood by the current anti-impeachment ad, noting that the word treason came up during testimony this week. Professor Pamela Karlan, in her opening statement, listed the possible impeachable offenses laid out in the U.S. Constitution, which include bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors, and treason. At no point did she accuse Trump of treason.
Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, then doubled down on the false claim that Democrats were accusing Trump of treason.
“If liberals don’t want us to point out that they accused the president of treason maybe they shouldn’t orchestrate hearings that do that,” he told ABC News.