Presidential candidate Donald Trump is encouraging CNN president Jeff Zucker to donate the profits from next week’s Republican presidential debate to veteran’s charities. Trump made the request in a letter to Zucker Wednesday morning.
In the letter, Trump referenced reports showing that the estimated ad revenue of CNN has greatly increased since the first debate, which was hosted by Fox News and attracted a record 24 million viewers.
Trump wrote, “While I refuse to brag, and as you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest and advertising is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump.”
A report from AdAge indicates that CNN is charging advertisers 40 times its normal rate for ads to air during the debate. CNN announced on Wednesday that it plans to livestream the complete debate online. This will allow for increased opportunity for advertisers to reach what is widely expected to be a large audience, perhaps even record-breaking.
In his letter, Trump referenced his work on the NBC show, “The Apprentice”. Trump claimed that his show was “virtually the easiest show to sell to advertisers on television, and at extraordinary rates.” It is noteworthy that Zucker was working at NBC at the time, and he was the person responsible for putting “The Apprentice” on television.
Trump continued to write, “I am self-funding my campaign. I do not want money from lobbyists, donors or special interest groups. Likewise, you should view the second debate broadcast as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate. I believe all profits from this broadcast should go to various veterans groups, a list of which I will send to you in the near future. This large contribution of many millions of dollars would be a truly wonderful thing for CNN to do.”
CNN has yet to comment on the issue.