President Trump has long held a grudge against CNN and has referred to the network as “fake news” — both in person and on Twitter — on multiple occasions. Many of Trump’s followers have developed a similar opinion about CNN, and a group of them have even gone so far as to create a petition calling for federal buildings to stop playing shows from the network on their televisions.
The creation of the petition itself doesn’t violate any laws; however, it’s questionable whether or not employees of Trump’s businesses can promote it.
A woman who recently stayed at Trump’s D.C. hotel claimed that, when she checked in, an employee handed her a flyer asking her to go online and sign the petition.
The flyer, which can be seen in the tweet below, calls for federal buildings to stop playing CNN on their televisions and instead switch to “neutral channels, such as C-Span,” “The Weather Channel,” or “even Fox News.”
‘CNN, the formerly neutral but now a network with an agenda complicit with the anti-Trump camp, is a so-called news program that is actively working to ruin your presidency, and it is playing throughout the day on almost every television screen found in federal office buildings.
You may not realize the subversion of your administration taking place in federal government office buildings throughout Washington D.C.
Please issue an order to the agencies and employees who work for you as Chief Executive of the U.S., that they are to shut off this negative force undermining your presidency. Direct that all televisions play nothing but neutral channels, such as C-Span or The Weather Channel. Even FOX News would be an improvement as FOX is much more neutral than CNN today.’
The flyer also includes a link to the online petition discussed above, which currently has just 51 signatures.
A number of people have responded to the news about the flyer by criticizing Trump and pointing out the ways in which such a demand, especially if it came from a hotel employee, is problematic.
So far, neither CNN nor any other news outlet has verified the claim that employees of Trump’s hotel are the ones passing out the flyers.
The flyer was distributed the day before Trump threatened to “challenge” another network for publishing an unflattering story about him.
‘Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a “tenfold” increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!’
‘With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!’
Featured image via Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images.