CNN Says It Refused to Run "Racist" Trump Campaign Ad

CNN Center-Atlanta-Getty-H 2018
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The ad, which encourages viewers to vote Republican during the midterms, depicts the caravan of Central American refugee-seekers traveling to the U.S. border as an "invasion."

CNN fired back at Donald Trump Jr. on Saturday after the son of the sitting president complained the news network had declined to run an ad from the Trump re-election campaign. CNN called the ad "racist."

"CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist," the CNN Communications Twitter account replied to an initial tweet from Trump Jr. "When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts," it said, adding an apple emoji.

The new Trump ad, released Friday, depicts the caravan of Central American migrants currently traveling through Mexico to seek refuge in the U.S. as an "invasion." It also cross-cuts footage of the migrants with courtroom testimony from convicted criminal Luis Bracamontes, suggesting that the refugee group includes criminals. Bracamontes is a Mexican immigrant who was initially deported and then re-entered the U.S. during the George W. Bush administration.

The ad borrows from a racist ad shared by President Donald Trump earlier in the week that was widely denounced as a modern-day version of the 1988 "Willie Horton" ad supporting the presidential campaign of George Bush.

Trump Jr. sparked the comment from CNN after tweeting at the network, "CNN refused to run this ad... I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda. Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday. #vote #voterepublican."

Trump has attempted to transform the Central American caravan into a hot-button topic for the midterm elections to encourage Republicans to show up at the polls. In the last week alone, he has ordered as many as 15,000 troops to the Mexican-U.S. border and announced a forthcoming order that he claims will bar migrants crossing the border illegally from seeking asylum.