After threatening this action for weeks, Donald Trump has sent a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker calling on the news network to donate profits from its upcoming presidential debate to veterans groups.
“Over the weekend, it was announced by numerous entertainment channels and magazines that your ad rates have gone from $5,000 to $200,000, or a 4,000% increase,” Trump wrote in his letter, a photo of which he posted on Twitter. “Since then I have heard you rates will go even higher. While I refuse to brag, and as you know very well, this tremendous increase is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump.’ You saw it on The Apprentice [sic] where it was virtually the easiest show to sell advertisers on television, and at extraordinary rates.”
Trump was referring to the huge ratings bump that Fox News received after it hosted a Republican debate and that one of the highlights of Zucker’s former tenure as president of NBC Entertainment was signing the real estate mogul on as host of the Mark Burnett-created reality competition series.
Because of this, Trump argued, CNN “should view the second debate broadcast as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate.” He wrote that he would send a list of various veterans groups in the near future.
CNN is airing the next presidential debate on Sept. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. A spokeswoman for CNN did not immediately return a request for comment.