For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

David Vance (202) 736-5712 or  

Trump Campaign Threats Against TV Stations Airing Ads Critical of President Are Baseless Attempt to Intimidate

Statement of Yosef Getachew, Common Cause Director of Media and Democracy Program

WASHINGTON - “The Trump campaign’s threat to revoke television station licenses for airing advertisements critical of the President’s actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic raises serious concerns that the President is potentially abusing his power to intimidate and retaliate against political opponents. The FCC has no authority to revoke broadcast licenses for airing political advertisements critical of the President’s actions. More importantly, the President cannot direct the FCC, an independent agency, to take this action.

“In the past, the President has suggested the FCC revoke television station licenses for reporting that was critical of his actions. A strong democracy requires a free and independent press to hold our government accountable. The President must be held accountable for his continued attacks on the First Amendment and free press, and potential abuse of power to censor his political opponents.”


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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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