Speed Reads

RNC 2020

The Lincoln Project kicks off the RNC by taking aim at 'evil' Jared Kushner

"Evil is real," the disaffected Republicans behind the Lincoln Project said in a new ad Monday morning, right as President Trump and the GOP prepare to kick off their Republican National Convention. "We ignore it when it seems educated, polite, superficially charming, even sophisticated. We trivialize it, ignore it, and when we do, it grows." That isn't a description of Trump. In this ad, the Lincoln Project is taking aim at Jared Kushner, the president's son in law, senior adviser, and de facto campaign chairman.

Specifically, the ad is about the national COVID-19 plan that Kushner helped come up with then, reportedly, scrapped when it appeared the virus would only affect states run by Democratic governors. "It was deliberate, cold, political, premeditated," the narrator said. "Some people say Trump and Kushner were incompetent when it came to COVID. But let's call it what it is: evil."

There is usually a method to the Lincoln Project's machinations. In June, for example, the group "bought up airtime in Washington, D.C., with the goal of forcing the president to view a 48-second attack ad about the personal wealth [recently ousted campaign manager Brad] Parscale had accumulated in the four years since he started working for him during the last election," Olivia Nuzzi reported in New York. "Trump did see the ad, and, later, he asked Parscale why it contained footage of 'ass slapping,'" a brief detail the group apparently just threw in.

"The president wonders who's truly loyal to him and who's not and who's making a buck on him," George Conway, one of the group's founders, told New York, and from his perspective, "triggering Trump's paranoia" is one way to defeat him. "It doesn't matter who is the captain of the SS Trump, because Trump is the one who is going to run it into the iceberg in the end," he added. "If there's more chaos, all the better. We try to trigger the chaos in Trump's DNA." It isn't clear if there is a specific goal in targeting Kushner.