New ad accuses Paul of siding with terrorists
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Little is known about the group behind the $100,000 ad campaign, called the American Exceptionalism Institute. It was incorporated a year ago by Columbus, Ohio-based attorney James Ryan and this is the group’s first paid ad buy. Ryan, however, has served as the registered agent for countless incorporated entities, including some nonprofit issue advocacy groups.
A spokesman for the group, Brian Kinnett, said the ad will run for 10 days on Fox News statewide and on broadcast in the Bowling Green and Lexington markets — and that the ad buy was targeted at a conservative audience.
The ad buy comes a day after Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, changed his stance and voted to advance the nomination of Mike Pompeo, Trump’s choice for secretary of state, to the Senate floor for a vote. Paul had opposed Pompeo for weeks before receiving assurances from the White House about his views on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Kinnett said he hopes Paul will reconsider his views on Haspel, too.
“Sen. Rand Paul has offered Gina Haspel no apology for his malicious and false attacks on her sterling record of service in the war on terror,” Kinnett, an Ohio-based conservative activist, said in a statement. "We call on Paul to support Haspel’s nomination and remind him to represent Kentucky’s interests in Congress, not the interests of Al Qaeda terrorists who launched a war against our country and then cried foul over treatment when they got caught by heroes like Haspel.”
Paul, who had described both Pompeo and Haspel as “power-hungry neocons,” accused Haspel of displaying "joyful glee" at the torture of Zubaydah before the retraction of a report by ProPublica that she had been involved in his interrogation.
A spokesman for Paul, Matthew Hawes, said that, "Regardless of the retraction of one anecdote, the fact remains that Gina Haspel was instrumental in running a place where people were tortured. According to multiple published, undisputed accounts, she oversaw a black site, and she further destroyed evidence of torture. This should preclude her from ever running the CIA.”