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Biden warns Fox News against running Trump ad

POLITICO logo POLITICO 10/4/2019 By Michael Calderone
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. © Ethan Miller/Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is urging Fox News not to run a Trump 2020 campaign advertisement it claims "spreads false, definitively debunked conspiracy theories.”

In a letter to Fox News and Fox Business general counsel Lily Claffee, Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz wrote that the ad “falsely states” that “Biden offered Ukraine $1 billion to fire the prosecutor investigating a company affiliated with his son.”

There is no evidence to support the claim that the former vice president intervened in Ukraine to benefit his son, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The Obama administration — along with Republicans senators, the International Monetary Fund, western governments, and Ukrainian reformers — were concerned at the time that then-prosecutor general’s Victor Shokin wasn’t aggressively fighting corruption.

“Though the Trump campaign is prepared to fabricate outright lies, your station’s airwaves should not be used to disseminate them,” wrote Schultz. “We are putting you on notice about the absolute falsity of the advertisement’s claims, and we expect that you will reject it. Please consider this letter a standing request that you reject any advertisement containing similar claims, regardless whether the Trump campaign or a third-party group seeks to place it.”

A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

CNN said Thursday that it is refusing to air the “Biden Corruption” ad, according to The Daily Beast. In addition to targeting Biden, the ad also characters CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Jim Acosta and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as “media lapdogs.”

“CNN is rejecting the ad, as it does not meet our advertising standards,” a network spokesperson said. “Specifically, in addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN.”

The Biden campaign has aggressively pushed back on Ukraine-related reports in an attempt to not let allegations fester in the media likes those which dogged Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

On Sunday, the campaign urged executives and host at CNN, Fox, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, and CBS to no longer book Rudy Giuliani, accusing Trump’s lawyer of spreading “false, debunked conspiracy theories” on behalf of his client.

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