The Trump campaign has called on Facebook and Twitter to strike a Biden campaign ad from their platforms, accusing the Biden campaign of lying about President Donald Trump’s alleged statements about U.S. soldiers buried in France.
Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis sent a cease-and-desist letter on Wednesday to Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, campaign manager for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, demanding that the Biden campaign pull the ad. Ellis also copied Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on the letter, as well.
“This letter notifies you that Biden for President … produced and caused to be posted on Joe Biden’s Twitter feed a digital ad that contains intentionally false and misleading statements that cannot be verified when it alleges that President Trump made derogatory comments towards fallen American heroes,” Ellis wrote to O’Malley Dillon.
A September 3 story in The Atlantic claimed that Trump denigrated dead soldiers buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, calling them “losers” and “suckers.” The report, written by the publication’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, was based off the claims of four anonymous sources. The Biden campaign picked up the story and has used its claims in an ad bashing Trump.
Numerous Trump administration officials and others, including former national security adviser and Trump critic John Bolton, have publicly disputed the story as reported in The Atlantic. In her Wednesday letter, Ellis said that the social media platforms have made rules and commitments to “slowing the spread of misinformation” as is outlined in their mission statements and community standards.
“Both Twitter and Facebook have used their policies to remove or flag tweets and postings by President Trump. Now, Twitter and Facebook—if they are truly to be fair arbiters of factually accurate statements—will be obliged to remove your False and Misleading Ad, which is based solely on cites to anonymous sources,” Ellis continued. She also pointed out that at least 21 people have gone on record to dispute The Atlantic’s story.
“Given your inability to verify the anonymous statements and the unequivocal denials by identified individuals who confirm what the whole country already knows — that President Trump would never disparage the lives and scarifies made by our American Military Heroes and their families — and President Trump’s powerful record of supporting and honoring America’s veterans, we demand that Joe Biden and the Biden Campaign immediately cease and desist using the False and Misleading Ad,” Ellis said. “We also ask Twitter and Facebook to review and apply their community standards equally and fairly and remove entirely the False and Misleading Ad from their platforms.”
Despite nearly two-dozen people publicly contradicting his report, Goldberg has defended his use of anonymous sources to publish the explosive claim. In the past, Goldberg has attacked others for using anonymous sources to write stories about him.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Ironically, after the publication of the well-known May 2016 article in The New York Times Magazine in which former Obama administration Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes essentially admitted he had manipulated the media regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Goldberg attacked David Samuels, the freelancer who had written the article, for writing, “For those in need of more traditional-seeming forms of validation, handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor helped retail the administration’s narrative.”
Goldberg wrote, “I did not find this mention of my name amusing at all, because Samuels is making a serious, unsourced, and unsubstantiated allegation against me in an otherwise highly credible publication (one for which I happened to work, in fact).”
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