CNN says that for the first time in its 40-year-history, it has been threatened with legal action by a politician displeased with its polling results. The network says it received a cease-and-desist letter from President Trump's campaign, demanding that it retract—and apologize for—a poll released Monday that shows the president 14 points behind Joe Biden among registered voters. The letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker claims the poll was "designed to mislead" voters. "It's a stunt and a phony poll to cause voter suppression, stifle momentum and enthusiasm for the President, and present a false view generally of the actual support across America for the President," the letter states. CNN says it stands by the poll and has no intention of complying with the campaign's demands.
The Trump campaign questioned the methodology of the poll and complained that it was largely conducted before Friday's jobs numbers came out, reports the Washington Post. The Post notes that other recent polls have also given Biden a double-digit lead. but not as high as 14%. In his response, CNN general counsel David Vigilante said when the network has "received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media." Trump tweeted Monday that he had "retained highly respected pollster McLaughlin & Associates" to analyze the "FAKE" poll. Vigilante said pollster John McLaughlin was, of course, free to "share his criticisms across the US media landscape." He added, "That's how free speech works." (Read more President Trump stories.)