Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre blasted legacy media outlet Global News over what he says is biased coverage of his meeting with Canadian Armed Forces veteran James Topp before Canada Day.

In a statement published on Poilievre’s social media on Thursday, Poilievre’s campaign called Global News’ coverage of the meeting a “disingenuous trap.”

“Since you insist on demonizing Canadians who dare to speak up against the Trudeau government, we can only assume that Global News is content to be a Liberal mouthpiece. Mr. Poilievre supported James Topp’s singular cause of ending vaccine mandates, so people can take back control of their lives,” said Poilievre.

“Your tactic seems to be to demand Mr. Poilievre answer for all the words and deeds of not just everyone he has ever met, but also everyone they have ever met. That amounts to guilt by multiple degrees of separation.”

Global News has put out at least two pieces about Poilievre’s meeting with Topp attempting to smear the freedom advocate as an extremist and racist.

In a Jun. 30 article, Global News reporter Rachel Gilmore accused Topp of appearing on a far-right podcast, citing far-left experts from the government-funded Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

“When Global News reached out for a comment about his decision to march alongside Topp, despite his support of broadcasters like Mackenzie, Poilievre’s campaign sent a brief statement,” wrote Gilmore. 

Poilievre addressed the accusations in his statement by pointing to prime minister Justin Trudeau’s own racist past. 

“For example, Mr. Poilievre has met with Justin Trudeau. That does not make Mr. Poilievre responsible for Trudeau’s many racist outbursts, including dressing up in racist costumes and mistreating visible minorities in his own part,” wrote the Poilievre campaign’s statement.

Poilievre was referencing leaked photos spanning several years which show Trudeau wearing blackface as well, as his handling of former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould during the SNC-Lavalin affair. Trudeau was also accused of being abusive and a bully by Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a black former Liberal member of parliament.