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Donald Trump tells CNN to donate debate profits to veterans’ groups

Donald Trump Holds Rally At Grand River CenterDonald Trump Holds Rally At Grand River Center
Donald TrumpPhotograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Donald Trump is calling on CNN to donate all profits from next week’s GOP presidential debate to veterans’ charities. The demand came in the wake of reports that CNN significantly hiked its standard advertising rates for the September 16th event.

In a letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker that he posted on Twitter, Trump said that the “tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising” with rates he quoted as jumping from $5,000 to $200,000 “is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump.'”

“I believe that all profits from this broadcast should go to various VETERANS groups, a list of which I will send you in the near future,” Trump wrote.

CNN didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Advertising Age had previously reported that CNN would charge 40 times its usual ad rates for an appearance during the GOP debate.

At the time, Trump credited himself with the increase and suggested that the network make a big charitable donation. The first GOP debate on Fox brought in a record 24 million viewers. The CNN-hosted debate will be streamed for free online without the need for a cable authentication code.

Last month, Trump questioned whether CNN should pay $10 million to charity to get him to appear at a presidential debate, as Variety reported.

In his new letter, Trump said that his appearance on the “Celebrity Apprentice,” the NBC reality TV show initially built around him judging groups of would-be tycoons, made it “virtually the easiest show to sell advertisers on television, and at extraordinary rates.”

He further claimed NBC renewed the show “even though I told them not to because I was running for President (something which did not exactly endear them to me).”

In his campaign announcement, Trump had said he would not take part in the show during his run. NBC cut ties with him in June after Trump’s disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants.

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people,” he said.

This continues Trump’s run-ins with TV networks. In August, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes called on Trump to apologize for his attacks on host Megyn Kelly. Trump has also been in a fight with Univision and its star, Jorge Ramos.