President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans ‘should hold the same position’ on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant ‘Fill that seat’ at North Carolina rally MORE’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is the target of a new ad set to launch in the battleground states of Nevada and North Carolina that accuses the president of lying about the virus based on recordings released of his interviews earlier this year with Bob Woodward.
Democratic super PAC MeidasTouch’s 60-second ad, exclusively shared with The Hill on Sunday, hits Trump over his conflicting public and private comments about the coronavirus.
“He lied. People died,” the narrator of the ad says.
The ad is backed by a six-figure TV buy in North Carolina and Nevada. Trump carried North Carolina in 2016; he lost Nevada to then-Democratic candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJeff Flake: Republicans ‘should hold the same position’ on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE.
Recent polls have shown a tight race in North Carolina between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE. Other polls have shown Biden leading Trump in Nevada.
The ad cuts clips of what Trump said publicly about the virus with recordings of his interviews with Woodward for his new book “Rage,” in which the president acknowledged the threat of the virus and that he was downplaying its threat to the nation.
“The facts are clear: Donald Trump’s intentional effort to suppress critical information about the disproportionate dangers of COVID-19 has now killed over 200,000 Americans. The families of the deceased Americans will never be the same, and the President is directly responsible,” said Brett Meiselas, one of the founders of the PAC.
“We are excited to double down on our investments in providing air cover in key battleground states to continue exposing Donald Trump as an unparalleled and irredeemable cancer on America,” he added.
After recordings of Woodward’s interviews with Trump were released earlier this month, the president told reporters that “perhaps” he misled the public to “reduce panic.”
“If you said in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so,” he said.
“The fact is I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country,” Trump continued. “I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic, as you say, and certainly I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.”
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign was not immediately available for comment.