Its series of ads attacking Donald Trump on COVID-19 action air in four key battleground states: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. They are one of the most aired on national television in recent weeks.
Priorities USA produced an ad broadcast by WJFW-NB of Rhinelander, Wisconsin using digitally manipulated clips of President Trump’s voice to fabricate unsubstantiated meaning in the President’s words. The Priorities USA ad took different audio clips from President Trump and spliced them together, deceptively manipulating them into an entirely new sentence and adding misleading subtitles to create a statement the President never uttered: “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.” As is clear from his full remarks, President Trump was referring to the Democrats’ politicization of the coronavirus crisis and likening it to their reaction to the Robert Mueller Russia hoax and the impeachment sham. Trump has never said that the virus itself was a hoax.
Numerous popular fact checkers and news reporters have declared the mischaracterization of the President’s remarks to be false:
- Slate’s Will Saletan: “He was saying the hoax is that he’s handled it badly. Not the virus itself.”
- CheckYourFact: “Trump referred to the alleged ‘politicizing’ of the coronavirus by Democrats as ‘their new hoax.’ He did not refer to the coronavirus itself as a hoax. Throughout the speech, Trump reiterates his administration is taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously.”
- CBS 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley: “He said the—the Democrats making so much of it is a Democratic hoax, not that the virus was a hoax.”
- Snopes: “Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax.”
- The Washington Post: “The full quote shows Trump is criticizing Democratic talking points and the media’s coverage of his administration’s response to coronavirus. He never says that the virus itself is a hoax[.]” (Highest falsehood rating of Four Pinocchios.) *PolitiFact: “The video makes it seem like Trump is calling the disease itself a hoax, which he hasn’t done.”
Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the NBC affiliate WJFW for defamation in the wake of an advertisement carried by the station that contained intentionally false and defamatory statements about President Trump. In spite of a cease-and-desist letter and documentation, WJFW-NBC continued to run the defamatory ad.
A Pennsylvania lawsuit, funded by Priorities USA, sought to mandate mail-in ballots, require the counting of votes received by mail after Election Day, and strike down Pennsylvania prohibitions on ballot harvesting, meaning the third-party mass collection of absentee and mail-in ballots.