The Lincoln Project was defiant, saying in a scathing public statement that the billboards would stay up.
The Lincoln Project is composed largely of conservatives looking to defeat President Donald Trump next month, including George Conway, a lawyer and the husband of former Trump campaign manager and senior counselor Kellyanne Conway.
The public spat is playing out as coronavirus cases have begun to spike again across the country. President Trump, meanwhile, has continued to hold campaign rallies in spite of the ongoing health threat with 10 days to go before the election.
The billboards feature an edited photo of Ivanka Trump smiling and gesturing at coronavirus death tolls in New York and the U.S. — the original photo depicted her holding up a can of Goya beans — and a quote attributed to Kushner by an anonymous source in a September Vanity Fair article.
The article describes a March meeting between White House officials, including Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, and leaders in the private sector to procure scarce supplies for fighting the virus.
According to one attendee, the article says, Kushner lambasted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, telling the group that “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state … His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
Kasowitz denied that Kushner had made such a remark, the first portion of which was not included on the billboard.
“The Lincoln Project’s representations” of Trump and Kushner “are outrageous and shameful libel,” Kasowitz wrote to the group.
The group responded: “The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical. While we truly enjoy living rent free in their heads, their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared.”
The statement went on to imply that the group believes any legal challenge would prevail on First Amendment grounds while lambasting the White House as well as Trump and Kushner, calling them “entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people.”
“We plan on showing them the same level of respect,” it said. The group released a further legal response later Saturday.
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