Fox Turns Down Biden Campaign’s Request to Reject Trump Ad That CNN Declined to Air

October 4, 2019 Updated: October 4, 2019

Fox News rejected a request by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden not to run an advertisement from President Donald Trump’s campaign that targets Biden’s involvement with Ukraine.

Biden last year bragged that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid in 2016 unless then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ousted the country’s top prosecutor. That prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was probing Burisma at the time. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was paid by Burisma from 2014 through 2019.

The ad shows clips of Biden with Poroshenko while stating, “Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company.”

The ad continues by saying that when Trump asked current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption, the Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry. “And their media lapdogs fall in line,” the ad stated, showing various CNN employees. CNN rejected the ad.

“They lost the election, now they want to steal this one. Don’t let them,” the ad concludes.

Fox said in a statement sent to news outlets that it would air the ad.

“We are not in the business of censoring ads from candidates on either side of the aisle,” the statement read. “[Former] Vice President Joe Biden has a standing invitation to appear on any of our platforms.”

Fox was responding to a letter Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz wrote to the network claiming that the ad “falsely states” that “Biden offered Ukraine $1 billion to fire the prosecutor investigating a company affiliated with his son,” according to Politico.

“Though the Trump campaign is prepared to fabricate outright lies, your station’s airwaves should not be used to disseminate them,” Schultz wrote. “We are putting you on notice about the absolute falsity of the advertisement’s claims, and we expect that you will reject it. Please consider this letter a standing request that you reject any advertisement containing similar claims, regardless whether the Trump campaign or a third-party group seeks to place it.”

Biden’s full statement last year about forcing Ukraine to fire a prosecutor was, “I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from [Ukrainian politician Aseniy] Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.”

“So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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