In a new sharp-tongued tactic from the Democrats, the Democratic National Committee has launched a salvo against the largely Republican US Chamber of Commerce, accusing the organization of taking foreign money to influence US politics.
Titled “Stealing Democracy,” the ad cites major Bush-era figures, including former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.
“Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie: They’re Bush cronies. The US Chamber of Commerce: They’re shills for big business,” the ad’s announcer remarks. “And they’re stealing our democracy. Spending Millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they’re even taking secret foreign money to influence our elections. It’s incredible, Republicans benefiting from secret foreign money. Tell the Bush Crowd and the Chamber of Commerce – stop stealing our democracy.”
Huffington Post’s Sam Stein notes that the spot appears timed to attack Rove and Gillespie’s planned appearances on Sunday talk shows. He maintains, however, that the accusations are of questionable veracity.
The spot, timed to preempt Rove and Gillespie’s appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit, echoes what has quickly and clearly become the closing argument Democrats (from the White House on down) are making as the election nears. But it comes at a time of conflicting reports over the veracity of the charges. On Saturday the New York Times published a story questioning a basis of the report uncovering the Chamber’s foreign pools of cash. Specifically, the story quoted White House counsel Bob Bauer acknowledging that there was no specific evidence that the Chamber had crossed legal lines by using foreign money for its electioneering.
“The DNC ad is rubbish,” said Tom Collamore, senior vice president of Communications and Strategy for the U.S. Chamber. “The U.S. Chamber will continue to discuss ways to create jobs and grow the economy no matter how often others may try to change the conversation. We’ve been working for growth, jobs, and opportunity for 100 years and we won’t be deterred now.”
The spot appears below.
Bill Barr is serving notice to DOJ officials that he’ll ruin them if they investigate Trump: MSNBC host
An MSNBC discussion about Bill Barr running interference within the Justice Department for Donald Trump ended with "AM Joy" host Joy Reid suggesting that the attorney general's very public "media blitz" over the so-called "Horowitz Report" is a warning shot to anyone in the DOJ who thinks about investigating the president.
As Reid explained it, "He did a whole TV blitz to basically say that his own agency, the FBI, was spying on the Trump campaign, something that the inspector general said did not happen."
Reid took that to its logical conclusion.
"Now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’ve got a different report that’s going to find the motivations’ that he’s basically saying are bad motivations by people in the FBI. And if you’re that FBI agent and then you hear that Donald Trump may be again looking for foreign help and maybe again getting help from Russia or forcing help from Ukraine, what do you do?" she asked. "Would you then not be concerned that, should you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election, that William Barr may come after you?"
Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump
Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.
But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.
"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"
DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.
"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."