Donald Trump's reelection campaign sent a letter to CNN on Wednesday demanding the network retract a poll that shows Trump losing to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 14 points.
The campaign claims the poll was "designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling."
"It's a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President," reads letter, which was sent by the campaign's senior legal adviser, Jenna Ellis, and chief operating officer Michael Glassner.
According to CNN, the letter from the campaign "makes several incorrect and misleading claims," including about the poll's sample size and the questions the poll asked.
Trump issued a tweet on Monday saying he "felt [the CNN polls] were FAKE based on the incredible enthusiasm we are receiving," along with a memo from a pollster he hired to push back on the CNN results.
Trump has railed against polls that show him losing for years, often calling surveys he doesn't like "fake."
On May 22, Trump condemned a Fox News poll showing him losing to Biden by 8 points. At that time, he praised a CNN poll that showed Biden with a national lead but Trump holding an advantage in battleground states.
However, sending a cease and desist letter to a media outlet about a poll is a new escalation in Trump's war on the media.
It comes as Trump has both publicly and privately raged about his standing against Biden.
Public polls show Trump's numbers have fallen dramatically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Trump's handling of race relations following yet another killing of an unarmed Black American at the hands of police.
Even internal polls from Trump's campaign show him losing to Biden, raising concerns among his top advisers. Axios reported that the Trump campaign's own numbers are "brutal" for Trump, as independents have drastically shifted toward Biden.
CNN's poll, which showed Trump losing to Biden 41 percent to 55 percent, was the worst finding of any high-quality national poll that's been released in the past few days.
But no recent national polls have shown Trump winning. And that's led to unease from GOP lawmakers, who fear if Trump doesn't make a change, he could take the Republican-controlled Senate down with him in November.
CNN says it has no plan to retract the survey. "We stand by our poll," CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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