Republican Party leaders warned CNN and NBC on Monday to abandon its plans to run features on Hillary Clinton or be cut out from the next Republican presidential debates.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he thinks the two networks, who have scheduled long documentary series about Clinton, are trying to sway public opinion in favor of the possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate through their programming. according to Fox News.
Priebus claimed CNN and NBC are trying to be give Clinton’s campaign an “in-kind donation,” according to the NY Daily News.
"It's appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives," he said.
CNN Films announced last month that it was working on a documentary about Clinton scheduled to air next year. NBC also said they are planning a four-hour miniseries about Clinton.
Priebus said in a written statement that — depending on if CNN and NBC stop their plans to run the Hillary specials — he will call for a vote at the next Republican National Committee meeting about whether or not the Republican Party will partner with the networks in the debates.
"Secretary Clinton has been in the public eye for well over two decades, so you certainly cannot claim that a series about her political career is any sort of public service or informational docudrama on an unknown individual," Priebus said in the statement.
He continued to call the networks’ programs “political (ads) masquerading as...unbiased (productions.)”
CNN responded to the Republican National Committee’s demands Monday afternoon, saying that committee members should not judge the programs prematurely and assume they will be politically biased.
"Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more," CNN said in the statement. "Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters."