The demand, coming in the form of a cease and desist letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker that contained numerous incorrect and misleading claims, was immediately rejected by the network.
“We stand by our poll,” said Matt Dornic, a CNN spokesman.
The CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on Monday shows Trump trailing the former vice president by 14 points, 55%-41%, among registered voters. It also finds the President’s approval rating at 38% — his worst mark since January 2019, and roughly on par with approval ratings for one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at this point in their reelection years — and his disapproval rating at 57%.
In the letter to Zucker, the Trump campaign argued that the CNN poll is “designed to mislead American voters through a biased questionnaire and skewed sampling.”
“It’s a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President,” read the letter, signed by the Trump campaign’s senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis and chief operating officer Michael Glassner.
The campaign formally requested that CNN retract the poll and publish a “full, fair, and conspicuous retraction, apology, and clarification to correct its misleading conclusions.”
David Vigilante, CNN’s executive vice president and general counsel, told the campaign that its “allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety.”
“To my knowledge, this is the first time in its 40-year history that CNN had been threatened with legal action because an American politician or campaign did not like CNN’s polling results,” Vigilante wrote in his response. “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.”