Ahead of next week's Republican debate on CNN, Donald Trump is calling on the network to donate all of its profits to various veterans groups.
In a letter sent to CNN president Jeff Zucker and released by the Trump campaign, Trump writes that the network's reported "4000% increase" in ad rates and increase in viewer interest for the debate is "due 100% to 'Donald J. Trump.'" He then calls on CNN to "view the second debate as a public service and not accept the massive profits that this airing will generate":
"I had always felt that we have to be helping our veterans far more than we do. That is why my campaign is so focused on these great people who have done so much for us. This large contribution of many millions of dollars would be a truly wonderful thing for CNN to do," the letter continues. Trump concludes by asking Zucker to "please let me know what your decision is as soon as possible."
Trump toyed with this idea speaking in Nashville last month (here's the clip). Taking credit for the high ratings the first debate brought in, and speaking about the upcoming CNN debate, he said: "Should I ask for charity, maybe a nice Nashville charity ... maybe I should ask for a lot of money or I'm not showing up?" he said. "I think I might ask for a lot of money for charity." He then asked the audience: "But ... is it a little hokie if I do that? Maybe it's not nice? ... Here's the thing, if I don't do it, CNN just makes a lot of money."
Here is the full letter: