President Donald J. Trump accurately called out CNN for attempting to make a massive shift in public opinion away from him and his campaign in the days before the 2020 Presidential election, in what can only be considered a campaign stunt in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. Publicity and advertising like what CNN did for Biden would cost millions and millions of dollars if Trump had an equal opportunity to pay for it.
“That is a campaign violation’: Donald Trump tells Sean Hannity that CNN broke the law after the technical director was caught on camera telling a ‘date’ that the network was focused on removing him from office, The Daily Mail UK reported on Saturday.
“Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100% going to say it, and I 100% believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out…I came to CNN because I wanted to be a part of that,” CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester said in the video.
And he explained how they did it by highlighting the health of both men, Trump and Joe Biden.
“[Trump’s] hand was shaking or whatever, I think. We brought in so many medical people to tell a story that was all speculation — that he was neurologically damaged, and he was losing it. He’s unfit to — you know, whatever. We were creating a story there that we didn’t know anything about. That’s what — I think that’s propaganda,” Chester said.
That is part of what is in the following undercover video released by Project Veritas:
PART 1: CNN Director ADMITS Network Engaged in ' Propaganda' to Remove Trump from Presidency
Project Veritas 13 Apr 2021https://t.co/Aon7zwct2W
— Zbigniew Hałat (@drhalat) April 25, 2021
TRUMP CALLS CNN OUT
- Donald Trump spoke to Sean Hannity for an interview that aired on Friday
- Trump was asked what he thought of a CNN sting carried out by Project Veritas
- A technical director, Charlie Chester, was filmed by an undercover reporter
- Chester said that CNN was working to get Trump voted out of office
- Trump told Hannity the admission was ‘a campaign violation’
Jason Miller, a senior advisor to President Trump post the story on Saturday.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) April 24, 2021
Trump isn’t alone in his assessment. James O’Keefe, who is the founder and president of project veritas was banned off of Twitter for posting the expose of CNN, but before he was removed from the platform a judge chimed in to discuss the idea that the comments by CNN were a campaign violation.
Judge Alex Ferrer posted that in his opinion the actions by CNN that O’Keefe uncovered could be considered a campaign finance violation if there was proof that the candidate was involved.
It would be if you could prove the candidate was involved. https://t.co/h3bxtK80zQ
— Judge Alex Ferrer (@judgealexferrer) April 13, 2021
Ferrer did accurately predict that Twitter action would be taken against O’Keefe, who was removed from Twitter shortly after this post:
Not surprised bc I’ve been saying this forever. How can u trust a “news” network who has a specific goal to make one candidate beat another. Their “news” is always being filtered by the outcome they want. Share before it is suddenly labeled “in violation of Twitter rules.” https://t.co/Pyvwg8E0cb
— Judge Alex Ferrer (@judgealexferrer) April 13, 2021
US House member Andy Biggs has called for an investigation into CNN according to an April 15 press release posted in full, below:
Yesterday, Congressman Andy Biggs sent a letter to Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney urging her to open an investigation into recent Project Veritas videos showing a CNN employee boasting about the network’s pro-Biden coverage in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
The Hon. Carolyn Maloney
Committee on Oversight and Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairwoman Maloney:
I am greatly disturbed by recent undercover video clips released by the organization Project Veritas appearing to show a CNN Technical Director named Charlie Chester boasting that his employer worked to advance favorable coverage of then-candidate Joseph Biden at the expense of President Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential campaign.
In the video clips, Mr. Chester is filmed making the following statements:
- “Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100% going to say it, and I 100% believe if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out. I came to CNN because I wanted to be part of that.”
- “We would always show shots of him [Biden] jogging and that [he’s] healthy, you know, and him in aviator shades. Like you paint him as a young geriatric.”
- “I think there’s a COVID fatigue. So, like whenever a new story comes up, they’re [CNN’s] going to latch onto it. They’ve already announced in our office that once the public is — will be open to it — we’re going to start focusing mainly on climate.”
- “It’s going to be our [CNN’s] focus. Like our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was, right?…”
- “It [COVID] will taper off to a point that it’s not a problem anymore. Climate change can take years, so they’ll [CNN will] probably be able to milk that quite a bit…Climate change is going to be the next COVID thing for CNN…Fear sells.”
- “Any reporter on CNN — what they’re actually doing is they’re telling the person what to say…”
- “It’s always like leading them in a direction before they even open their mouths. The only people that we [CNN] will let on the air, for the most part, are people that have a proven track record of taking the bait.”
- “COVID? Gangbusters with ratings, right? Which is why we [CNN] constantly have the [COVID] death toll on the side, which I have a major problem with – with how we’re tallying how many people die every day.”
- “Like, why isn’t it high enough, you know, today? Like it would make our point better if it was higher. And I’m like, what am I f***ing rallying for? That’s a problem that we’re doing that.”
- “It’s fear. Fear really drives numbers [TV ratings] … Fear is the thing that keeps you tuned in.”
- “The special red phone rings and this producer picks it up. You hear [murmurs], and every so often they put it on speaker and it’s the head of the network being like, ‘There’s nothing that you’re doing right now that makes me want to stick. Put the [COVID death toll] numbers back up, because that’s the most enticing thing that we had. So, put it back up.’”
- “No one ever says those things out loud, but it’s obvious based on the amount of stories that we [CNN] do. The fact that we have a segment called ‘The Good Stuff’, which is a feel-good thing, but it’s a dedicated moment at the end to almost be the ice cream to alleviate everything that you’ve been through. Something sweet to end it with, because everything else is doom and gloom.”
These statements are appalling. Although sadly unsurprising, it is nevertheless shocking to witness a CNN employee suggest his employer’s aim was to help President Biden win the 2020 election. It is also heartbreaking to see anyone make light of a tragedy that has taken hundreds of thousands of American lives.
Millions of Americans receive their news from CNN every day. If CNN is manipulating its viewers, that behavior is at very least unethical; if the network actually colluded with Biden campaign officials—a possibility hinted at in the Project Veritas videos—it may also have violated federal campaign law. Either way, as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I urge you to open an investigation into this matter as soon as possible.
Member of Congress