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CNN Responds To RNC Threat Over Hillary Clinton Movie

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 13: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to guests at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) on June 13, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The CGI was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton with the intention of convening world leaders to address pressing global issues. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) | AP

CNN issued a statement Monday afternoon about the Republican National Committee's threat to block it from the 2016 debate process unless it canceled a planned film about Hillary Clinton.

RNC chair Reince Priebus vowed to ban both CNN and NBC News, whose sister division is making a mini-series about Clinton, if they went ahead with the projects. Priebus said the programs were akin to an "in-kind donation" for the Democrats.

In its statement, CNN predictably did not immediately agree to drop its documentary. Instead, it issued a challenge to the RNC, saying it should "reserve judgment" about the documentary and should avoid doing voters a "disservice" by limiting the debates:

CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. 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. 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.

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