McConnell allies blast Flake opponent in new 'Chemtrail Kelli' ad

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Senate confirms Trump's border chief House leaves out ObamaCare fix from must-pass funding bill MORE's (R-Ky.) allied super PAC has launched a new ad blasting Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed Trump prepared to hit China with B in annual tariffs: report White House, Democrats reject competing DACA offers MORE's (R-Ariz.) primary opponent, amid concerns that President Trump could side with the challenger over the incumbent senator.  

The move is part of the Senate Leadership Fund's opening salvo meant to protect Flake from the possibility of a Trump-backed primary from state Sen. Kelli Ward, who unsuccessfully ran against Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Schiff: I thought more Republicans would speak out against Trump Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2016. Trump tweeted support last week for Ward, who has already announced her bid, leading to speculation he could officially endorse her at his Phoenix rally on Tuesday.  

SLF's new digital ad slams Ward with criticism painting her as a conspiracy theorist, offering a clear sign of what's to come in her bid to unseat Flake.

The ad criticizes Ward for convening a hearing where Arizonans spoke about their concerns on "chemtrails," emissions left by aircrafts as they fly through the sky. Some believe, without evidence, that the planes are spraying secret chemicals into the air for nefarious purposes, but scientists have repeatedly noted the harmless trails are created by condensation. 

Ward's decision to hold that hearing has led to attacks that have long dogged her political bids. She's since said she does not believe in the theory but wanted to provide a forum for her constituents who did and has accused her opponents of using the issue to unfairly tar her as a distraction. 

" 'Chemtrail' Kelli has got her head in the clouds with crazy ideas," the ad's narrator says, playing clips of Ward accusing McCain for being "directly responsible for the rise of ISIS." 

And it shines a spotlight on her comment after McCain's recent brain cancer diagnosis. In response to the diagnosis, Ward said that McCain should "step away as quickly as possible" and that she should be at the "top of the list" of those who could be appointed to fill a potential vacancy left by McCain.  

"Embarrassing behavior, dangerous ideas. No wonder Republicans rejected her just one year ago," the ad's narrator says.  

" 'Chemtrail' Kelli Ward. Not conservative, just crazy ideas."  

The intense campaign ad comes as Republicans continue to worry about the possibility that Trump could boost Ward's profile with an endorsement.

Trump has been careful to express support for Ward's primary challenge without providing an explicit endorsement, which could allow him to back other potential candidates in a primary. Ward has shaped her campaign around her ardent support for Trump, repeatedly hitting Flake for breaking with the president.