President Donald Trumps reelection campaign filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against an NBC-affiliated television station for airing an ad falsely claiming the president called the COVID-19 outbreak a “hoax.”
The ad was cut by super PAC Priorities USA, which the complaint (pdf) filed by the Trump campaign identified as “far-left.”
“The advertisement, entitled Exponential Threat, does not just contain false and defamatory statements about President Trump—it is far more insidious and, ultimately, far more dangerous,” the complaint said.
Naming the defendant as Wisconsin-based WJFW-NBC, the complaint alleges: “The advertisement was produced through the use of digital technology by taking audio clips from Trump Campaign events and piecing those clips together to manufacture a blatantly false statement that was never said by President Trump: The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.'”
Further, the campaign said in the complaint that the “deceitful alteration of the audio” made it seem as though the word “this” uttered by Trump referred to the virus, while it “instead refers directly to the Democrats politicization of the pandemic.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, has spread aggressively across the United States, with a Johns Hopkins tally noting over 558,000 infections across America as of April 13, while the number of fatalities attributed to COVID-19 standing at over 22,000.
The words “The coronavirus—this is their new hoax,” identified in the complaint, came from a Trump rally in North Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 28, according to multiple fact-checkers, including Snopes and Politifact, which provided the full context of the presidents remarks.
“Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that right? Coronavirus, theyre politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, Hows President Trump doing? They go, Oh, not good, not good. They have no clue. They dont have any clue. They cant even count their votes in Iowa. They cant even count. No, they cant. They cant count their votes,” Trump said at the rally.
“One of my people came up to me and said, Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didnt work out too well. They couldnt do itRead More – Source
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