Republican front-runner Donald Trump has made an unusual request to network CNN, which will be airing the second Republican debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle. On 9 September, Trump published a letter sent to CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, in which he asks that all profits made during the debate go to a number of charities.
"I believe that all profits from this broadcast should go to various VETERANS groups, a list of which I will send to you in the near future," the reality TV star turned politician wrote in the nearly page and a half-long letter.
In the letter, Trump claims that he is the reason why the network has experienced a reported spike in advertising revenue for the 16 September debate. "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,'" the 69-year-old wrote.
Trump went on to tout Fox New's record viewership for the first Republican debate, adding: "Word is that your audience will be even larger." He continued: "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."
During his plea to donate the profits of the debate to veterans charities, Trump argued: "The veterans of our country, our finest people, have been treated horribly by our government and its 'all talk and no action' politicians. In fact, some would say they are treated like third class citizens— even worse, in many cases, than illegal immigrants."
As CNN Money noted, there is no precedent for the financial donation Trump is requesting. Were CNN to follow through with Trump's request, several ethical and legal questions would arise.
CNN has declined to comment on Trump's proposal, CNN Money reported.