Fox News has said it will not air any more adverts that call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment due to its viewers' angry response.
The US channel said it would be pulling the plug on the ads which urge TV viewers to sign a petition that has already been signed by 1.5 million people calling for President Trump’s impeachment.
The $10 million “Need to Impeach” ad campaign, which is funded by Democratic mega-donor Tom Steyer, was launched in late October and has already incurred the wrath of President Trump.
“Wacky and totally unhinged Tom Steyer, who has been fighting me and my Make America Great Again agenda from beginning, never wins elections!” the world leader wrote on Twitter on 27 October.
He launched into the tirade shortly after the ad which is titled “Join Us” aired on Fox & Friends – a show the president frequently watches.
“Due to the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers, we could not in good conscience take their money,” said Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News.
Mr Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund operator based in California, said Fox News informed him on 31 Oct that it was refusing to air the advert. He said the decision “shows no respect for democracy.”
The ad takes aim at President Trump for bringing the US “to the brink of nuclear war” with North Korea and for potentially "obstructing justice” by sacking former FBI Director James Comey in May as he conducted a federal probe into potential links between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
Mr Steyer’s legal team drew attention to the fact the ad was pulled just after President Trump lashed out about it and said Mr Steyer thinks Fox bowed to pressure from the White House to drop it.
"It is no coincidence that the Cancellation of the Advertisement, in the second week of its run, came on the heels of a tweet from President Trump criticising the spot and Mr Steyer personally," Brad Deutsch, his lawyer, said in a letter to Fox.
Fox News, who President Trump has granted 19 interviews to since entering the White House, has been criticised for its overly favourable coverage of the US president.
Congressional Democratic leaders have chosen not to join Mr Steyer's plea for President Trump to be impeached. When pressed about Mr Steyer's ad and whether Democrats would prioritise impeachment proceedings if they were to gain a majority in Congress in next year's midterm elections on Sunday, Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, said: "It's not someplace that I think we should go."
Ms Pelosi sought to tone down the notion Democrats will attempt to impeach President Trump if they regain control of the House but did indicate Democrats would permit the various investigations of the billionaire property magnate to run their course.
She said: “I believe that whatever we do, we have responsibility first and foremost to unify the nation. Second of all, you can’t go down any path without the facts and the law. If that’s there, perhaps it will come out in these investigations.”