CNN parent rejects unfounded Trump ads about election fraud

Gerry Smith

AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, the parent of CNN and other cable networks, rejected two ads from President Trump’s campaign that attacked the election results, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The company refused to air the spots because their claims of election fraud couldn’t be substantiated, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics said it doesn’t have data showing the commercials aired on any major cable TV networks. It doesn’t monitor Newsmax, which carried at least one ad on its live online feed, or One America News Network, another smaller outlet that Trump has often praised.

The Trump campaign said on Friday it was releasing TV commercials “calling on the American people to help fix our broken election system.” The ads were to begin airing on Dec. 12 “on national cable television,” the campaign said, without specifying which channels would show them.

The ads were to “inform viewers of the widespread corruption that occurred in the 2020 election,” the campaign said, citing claims about “suitcases of Biden ballots, dead people voting and money-for-vote schemes.”

WarnerMedia owns several cable channels, including CNN, which has, like many other news outlets, debunked the president’s allegations of voter fraud.

CNN has rejected ads from Trump’s campaign before. In October 2019, the network refused to air two spots from the Trump campaign because they were proved false and disparaged the network’s journalists, calling them Democratic party “lap dogs.”