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President Trump at a White House coronavirus briefing.

Donald Trump's reelection campaign filed a lawsuit Monday against a local television station in Wisconsin, accusing it of airing a campaign ad the suit calls "false and defamatory" — even though the ad accurately relays Trump's comments.

The ad, produced by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, uses audio clips of Trump downplaying the new coronavirus.


The audio accompanies a chart showing the number of cases of COVID-19 exponentially growing.

Exponential Threat Updated www.youtube.com


In the lawsuit, the Trump campaign says the ad is deceptive because it "falsely pieced together the separate audio clips 'The coronavirus' and 'this is their new hoax' to create an audio clip of candidate Trump saying those words all together, as one sentence."

The Trump campaign had tried to prevent local television stations from airing the ad, sending a cease-and-desist letter on March 25.

But the letter only drew more attention to the ad, and Priorities USA announced it was expanding the number of locations it would air the spot.

The Trump campaign has filed multiple lawsuits against media organizations in recent months as part of Trump's ongoing war with the press.

The lawsuits have accused news outlets of publishing "false and defamatory statements," even though the statements in question merely referred to facts Trump didn't like.

Experts have said the Trump campaign's lawsuits are "dangerous" to freedom of the press.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign itself is airing ads with deceptively edited audio.

Last week, the Trump campaign launched an ad that not only falsely suggested an American politician was a member of the Chinese government, but also edited a comment made by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to misrepresent what he said.

The ad claimed Biden did not support Trump's coronavirus travel restrictions on China, and included a clip of Biden supposedly saying, "Banning all travel will not stop" coronavirus.

But Biden never said that, according to the Washington Post. Biden in fact said that "banning all travel from Europe, or any other part of the world, may slow it, but as we have seen, it will not stop it."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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