President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is suing a left-wing super PAC for producing a manipulated ad that falsely suggests the president called the coronavirus pandemic a “hoax.”
The campaign filed a defamation complaint against Priorities USA Wednesday for sponsoring an ad that splices together media clips from Trump campaign events that falsely imply the president called the virus a hoax during a February campaign stop.
In reality, the president said during the rally that Democrats’ political reaction to the virus was a “hoax.”
Various outlets fact-checked the claim when former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign made it in an ad in March. “The video makes it seem like Trump is calling the disease itself a hoax, which he hasn’t done. The words are Trump’s, but the editing is Biden’s,” PolitiFact noted of the Biden ad, rating the claim “false.”
“It is abundantly clear that Priorities USA supported fabricated digital content in a flagrant attempt to defame President Trump and a desperate attempt to save Joe Biden’s sinking campaign,” Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the campaign, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
The American public should be able to “trust in the accuracy of the content aired, especially in reference to their President,” Ellis added.
Trump’s complaint comes alongside another lawsuit filed in April against a local NBC affiliate in Wisconsin for running the PUSA ad despite receiving a cease-and-desist letter, the press release noted. The ad was distributed through social media and broadcast across multiple social media platforms, including television stations.
The NBC-affiliate wants the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that it infringes on protected political speech.
PUSA is standing by the ad.
“Priorities USA Action successfully intervened as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign against a small Wisconsin TV station in a desperate attempt to prevent Americans from hearing the truth about Trump’s failed response,” Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, said in a statement.
Cecil added: “We stand by the facts in our ad that uses Trump’s own words. We won’t back down from holding Trump accountable for failing America.” His group’s statement did not address Trump’s complaint that PUSA deceptively manipulated an ad to make it appear that the president said something that he never said.
PUSA has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for additional comment.
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