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Screenshot of Trump anti-immigration ad.

NBC, Fox News and Facebook have pulled a controversial anti-immigration ad paid for by President Trump's campaign. CNN, meanwhile, refused to air the ad at all, calling it "racist."

The backdrop: The 30-second ad, a shorter version of a clip Trump tweeted last week, depicts undocumented Mexican immigrant Luis Bracamontes, who received the death penalty for murdering two police officers in 2014. Unlike Trump's tweet, the ad does not falsely blame Democrats for letting Bracamontes into the country, but it does attempt to connect Bracamontes and his crimes to the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico to the U.S. border.

The ad aired on four networks before being pulled, according to iSpot data obtained by Axios.

  • Fox Business: 8 airings
  • Fox News: 6 airings
  • MSNBC: 3 airings
  • NBC: 1 airing

What they're saying:

  • CNN: "CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts."
  • NBC: "After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible.”
  • Fox News: "Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network," a spokesman told CNN.
  • Facebook: "This ad violates Facebook's advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution,” a spokesman told The Daily Beast.
  • Donald Trump Jr. mocked CNN as fake news on Twitter for refusing to air the ad, telling his followers to "Remember this on Tuesday."
  • President Trump, when asked about the controversy, told reporters, "We have a lot of ads. They certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we're seeing. ... A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive."

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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