CNN has defended a decision to reject President Trump's anti-immigration ad, saying on Saturday that it's racist and unfit for broadcast.
The 53-second ad featured in a Halloween Trump tweet juxtaposes footage of cop-killing illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes with the approaching Central American caravan, implying that similarly violent criminals may be among those seeking asylum in the United States.
Trump has claimed that "criminals and unknown Middle Easterners" are among the migrants, while the Department of Homeland Security said last month that "gang members" and people with "significant criminal histories" are traveling among the caravan.
Meanwhile, a caravan participant interviewed by Fox News admitted that he had fled Honduras to escape an attempted murder charge.
A migrant in the caravan tells a Fox News reporter that he fled Honduras because he "got in trouble."— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 31, 2018
What kind of trouble? A "third-degree felony" for "attempted murder" pic.twitter.com/bhBkJr29eV
On Saturday morning, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: "CNN refused to run this ad... I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda. Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday," to which CNN responded: "CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts."
CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts. 🍎— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 3, 2018
The ad has drawn criticism from the left, which has likened it to President George H.W. Bush's 1988 "Willie Horton" ad featuring a black man who committed violent crimes against white people during a weekend pass from prison:
The Washington Post, meanwhile, has suggested that Trump's ad featuring Bracamontes is based on a falsehood.
“Democrats let him into our country,” the ad’s script reads. “Democrats let him stay.”
Just one problem: It doesn’t appear to be true.
Bracamontes, who had been deported multiple times before his crime rampage, appears to have last entered the country while George W. Bush was president, sometime between May 2001 and February 2002, when there is a record for his marriage in Arizona, according to the Sacramento Bee.
He lived near Salt Lake City until 2014, when a methamphetamine-fueled road trip ended with him murdering two Sacramento-area deputies, according to the newspaper.
The ad also failed to mention that in 1998, Bracamontes was arrested on drug charges in Phoenix, then released by the office of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio “for reasons unknown,” the Bee reported. -WaPo
That said, what WaPo fails to mention is that he was also deported in 2001 under the Bush administration before his subsequent return.