President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is threatening to file lawsuits against local news outlets in several battleground states if they continue to air a political ad full of his attempts to downplay the coronavirus.
Priorities USA, a liberal super PAC, crafted the ad entitled “Exponential Threat,” and it splices audio of Trump from recent weeks as he made dismissive comments about COVID-19’s severity.
At the same time, a visual graphic charts the escalation of case numbers in the U.S., which torpedos Trump’s claims to have always taken the virus seriously. The ad is being run on TV stations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign’s complaint centers on a portion of the ad which appears to imply that Trump has called the virus itself a hoax. Fact-checkers at the Washington Post and elsewhere have said that Trump was referring to attempts to politicize the virus against him.