CNN Nukes Trump Campaign’s Cease and Desist Letter Over Negative Poll: ‘Factually and Legally Baseless’


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CNN responded to President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign after its lawyers sent the network a cease and desist letter over a poll which showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead by 14 points.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40 year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN’s polling results,” wrote CNN’s General Counsel David Vigilante. “To the extent that we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or not respect for a free and independent media.”

“CNN is well aware of the reputation John McLaughlin and McLaughlin & Associates. In 2014 his firm famously reported that Eric Cantor was leading his primary challenger Dave Brat by 34 points only to lose by 11 points – a 45 point swing. The firm currently has a C/D rating from FiveThirtyEight,” Vigilante continued, adding, “In any event, McLaughlin was able to evaluate and criticize CNN’s most recent poll because CNN is transparent and publishes its methodology along with its polling results.”

“Because of this, McLaughlin was free to publish his own critique of CNN’s analysis and share his criticisms across the U.S. media landscape,” he explained. “That’s how free speech works. It’s the American way.”

Vigilante concluded, “Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety.”

President Trump’s campaign had accused CNN in the cease and desist of publishing a poll “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling,” and described it as a “stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President.”

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