Former aides to high-ranking Democratic politicians are joining a so-called “coronavirus war room” in order to attack President Trump’s response to the pandemic.
Protect Our Care — a nonprofit tied to liberal dark money groups — announced the war room on Thursday, with its leaders accusing Trump of exacerbating the pandemic. Leading the war room is Zac Petkanas, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Sarah Chase, a former research associate for the presidential campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is joining the team as well.
Patrick Devlin, former Communications Director for Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., will serve as an adviser to the war room as well. War rooms are generally set up within political organizations to provide rapid response to the media cycle.
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“This team has a wealth of know-how, experience and expertise and with the coronavirus crisis, which has been exacerbated by President Trump’s failure to prepare, we need the best in the business working on advocacy efforts to hold President Trump accountable for his failure to lead,” said Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care’s executive director.
Protect Our Care has been tied to “dark money” organizations like Arabella Advisors, which backs other groups attacking the president over the coronavirus response.
Specifically, it houses the New Venture Fund and Sixteen Thirty Fund, both of which support another Democrat-aligned group — American Bridge — that’s hammered Trump on the coronavirus response.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Pacronym is planning to spend $5 million on ads attacking Trump’s response to the pandemic. That PAC is affiliated with the New Venture Fund and Acronym, whose board includes former Obama adviser David Plouffe. The ads will target five swing states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona) and run on major digital platforms like Facebook.
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Protect our Care, which is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, has also been running an ad against Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., reportedly tying his opposition to ObamaCare to the coronavirus.
On Thursday, Twitter declined to flag another ad attacking Trump’s coronavirus response.
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The Trump campaign alleges that the ad replayed Trump saying the coronavirus was Democrats’ latest “hoax” without supplying the proper context. Twitter reportedly refused the campaign’s request to flag the ad as “manipulated media,” indicating it met the site’s guidelines.
“Fellow Americans,” a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, ran the ad but it’s unclear where the group originated. Its website is relatively sparse and vaguely refers to opposing political division in the United States.