On Thursday, President Donald Trump and his campaign demanded CNN to apologize and retract a new poll that showed Trump running behind former Vice President Joe Biden by 14%.

The cease and desist letter to CNN, addressed to CNN President Jeff Zucker, accused the network of “stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the president and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the president.” CNN rejected the demands to retract the polls.

“We stand by our poll,” said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman.

On Monday, CNN conducted a national poll via a third party SSRS, showing Biden leading Trump by 55% to 41%. The letter from Trump campaign called the poll “a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression.”

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David Vigilante, CNN’s executive vice president and general counsel, formally responded to the accusations in an open letter, saying that it was the first time in the network’s 40 year history that they received a legal threat from a U.S. leader.

“To the extent we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media,” wrote Vigilante. “Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or hear.”

Trump tweeted that he felt CNN poll, along with ones conducted by different networks, was “fake” and hired a “highly respected pollster,” McLaughlin & Associates, to evaluate it. The Republican pollster previously worked for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. McLaughlin has consistently ranked as the least accurate pollster in the business.


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