In a letter sent to the conservative Club for Growth today, Donald Trump’s general counsel accused the organization of defaming Trump by highlighting his record of supporting tax increases, national health care, and Wall Street bailouts.
“Simply stated, your Attack Ad is not only completely disingenuous, but replete with outright lies, false, defamatory and destructive statements and downright fabrications which you fully know to be untrue,” Trump lawyer Alan Garten wrote.
Donald Trump's cease and desist letter to the Club for Growth pic.twitter.com/cGRXUat0DS
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) September 22, 2015
In its ad, the Club for Growth, which has a long history of targeting liberals for electoral defeat, accused Donald Trump of supporting higher taxes:
“Which presidential candidate supports higher taxes, national health care, and the Wall Street bailout?” the ad asks while showing pictures of Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. “It’s Donald Trump.”
The Club for Growth ad then showed a 2004 clip of Donald Trump telling CNN that “in many cases I probably identify more as a Democrat.” Trump previously donated over $15,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In his letter, Trump’s attorney said the Club for Growth “lied” by asserting that Trump supports higher taxes.
“Mr. Trump does not support higher taxes,” Garten wrote. “This is the very definition of libel.” Interestingly enough, Garten did not dispute the charge that Donald Trump supports national health care or Wall Street bailouts.
Garten’s assertion, however, appears to have little basis in reality. For example, Trump has repeatedly called for higher taxes on certain types of investment income. Garten only needs to spend a few minutes on Google to see the mountains of evidence supporting the charge that Donald Trump wants to raise taxes. Here is but a small sampling of headlines highlighting Trump’s ongoing support for higher taxes:
ABC (Aug. 6): Donald Trump Once Proposed the Biggest Tax Hike Ever
Bloomberg (Aug. 26): Donald Trump says he wants to raise taxes on himself
CNN (Aug. 27): Donald Trump: Tax the rich more
New York Times (Aug. 31): Increase taxes? Talk by Donald Trump alarms G.O.P.
International Business Times (Sept. 8): Elizabeth Warren Praises Donald Trump Tax Plan
The Club for Growth wasn’t exactly going out on a limb by noting that Donald Trump supports higher taxes.
Short response to @realDonaldTrump Stop Whining
— CFG + CFG Action (@club4growth) September 22, 2015
If Donald Trump doesn’t want to be accused of supporting higher taxes, there are simpler ways to go about it than having an attorney send silly letters suggesting it’s libelous to highlight an individual’s own statements and record. The simplest way to avoid being accused of supporting higher taxes is to not support higher taxes. That Donald Trump chose to sic his attorney on a conservative group rather than retracting his support for higher taxes should tell voters everything they need to know about where he stands on the issue.