Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has appeared frequently on cable news over the past two years to outline what many saw as evidence that President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign had colluded with Russia. (Photo: @MSNBC/Twitter)

Trump Demands Networks Retaliate Against Guests Who Discussed Evidence of Collusion

"Ah yes, a political enemies list. Totally normal in a healthy democracy."

Julia Conley

President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign attempted to intimidate cable news networks who covered Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe on Monday but earned only derision from journalists and others.

Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump's campaign, sent a memo to TV news producers at networks including CNN and MSNBC, imploring them to either ban guests who had claimed there was evidence that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia, or challenge them on their claims.

"You should begin by asking the basic question: Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?" wrote Murtaugh to the networks.

"If these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place," he added.

The memo was circulated a day after Attorney General William Barr said that Mueller's report had cleared the president of having coordinated with Russian officials and was inconclusive as to whether Trump committed obstruction of justice.

A number of critics condemned the Trump campaign's apparent desire to compile a list of "political enemies."

While many on the left have called for introspection from the media in the wake of the Mueller investigation, as Murtaugh did in his memo,some rejected the campaign's assertion that accusations made against Trump—considering the fact that his former campaign manager and former national security adviser were among the34 Trump associates who were indicted as a result of the probe—were particularly "outrageous" at the time they were made.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

House Progressives Urge Reforms to 'Hold These Rogue Justices to Account'

Recent rulings by the Supreme Court's right-wing majority have made clear the need for substantive changes, including expansion, argues Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Win for Wildlife' as Federal Court Restores Endangered Species Protections Gutted by Trump

"In the midst of a global extinction crisis, the court's decision to vacate the rules will help ensure that imperiled species receive the protections they desperately need," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


Senate Urged to Block Biden's Pro-Privatization Nominee for Social Security Board

"The Senate can, and must, block this terrible nomination," Social Security Works said of the administration's choice of Andrew Biggs.

Jake Johnson ·


GOP Senator Defends Guantánamo Bay Prison as 'Absolutely Vital Institution'

Sen. James Inhofe's comments come as congressional Democrats are reviving efforts to close the notorious U.S. military prison.

Brett Wilkins ·


Doctor Describes Gruesome 'Wartime Injuries' at Highland Park Shooting

"The people who were killed were killed instantly," said Dr. David Baum, who ran towards the victims after gunfire rang out at a July 4th parade.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo