Then-candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally last year at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Ever since President Trump started calling CNN “fake news,” the network’s anchors have had to interrupt their normal activities to defend their reporting. Take the time that the president tweeted that anchor Chris Cuomo had propagated “fake news” in an interview with a senator. That wasn’t the case, as Cuomo clarified on his show “New Day.”

The network’s PR apparatus even got involved in the Trump-debunking:

So CNN wasn’t about to allow the Trump reelection campaign to run an ad that contains a brief passage calling the media “FAKE NEWS,” a term hatched to describe deliberately fabricated stories designed to push a political viewpoint. The ad inventories a number of Trump actions that it cites as part of his 100-day “success,” including a tax-cut plan, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and other stuff. Then: “You wouldn’t know it from watching the news.” At that point, this image quickly appears:


(Screenshot from YouTube)

Those faces? Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News and Scott Pelley of CBS News.

CNN was approached about airing the ad but cited a problem.

Campaign Executive Director Michael Glassner has issued a statement on the matter: “It is absolutely shameful to see the media blocking the positive message that President Trump is trying to share with the country. It’s clear that CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech because it doesn’t fit their narrative.”

Though CNN is a 24/7 network with some big names on staff, it lacks the power to censor the Trump campaign’s free speech, which is alive and unedited on YouTube.

President Trump's campaign launched a television ad on May 1, commemorating his first 100 days in office. This is the first version they released. (Donald Trump)