A Democratic super PAC vowed Thursday to fight President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s campaign in court over an ad campaign criticizing his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Priorities USA Action chief Guy Cecil said his group will join as a defendant in a lawsuit that the campaign filed against a Wisconsin NBC affiliate for airing the super PAC’s ad, The Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit, filed in the Wisconsin state court against WJFW-TV, aims to stop an ad, which the campaign calls “defamatory.”
“The Trump campaign is trying to railroad a TV station into censorship of ads critical of the president, and we will not let that stand,” Cecil said, according to the AP. “We stand by the facts in the ad and will defend it in court if necessary.”
The ad strings together audio clips of the president downplaying the threat of the pandemic while a chart shows the increasing number of cases in the country. The video begins with a quote using audio from two different recordings: “The coronavirus … this is their new hoax.”
The Trump campaign argues that the splicing of clips is misleading because it makes it seem like the president was calling the virus a hoax, when he was calling the Democrats’ criticism of his management of the crisis a hoax.
Cecil asserted the ad just uses the president’s own words.
The campaign threatened last month to file lawsuits against TV stations across five states if they didn’t stop the ad. It filed the lawsuit against the Wisconsin station Monday.
His quote with the word “hoax” came from a South Carolina rally, where he said Democrats were politicizing the pandemic in their favor.
“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that right? Coronavirus, they’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs,” he said, later saying, “They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They’d been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”
The Hill reached out to WJFW-TV for comment.