Trump slams Donnelly over ads for Libertarian candidate

Trump slams Donnelly over ads for Libertarian candidate
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE blasted Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyTrump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator Indiana New Members 2019 2020 politics make an immigration deal unlikely in lame-duck MORE (D-Ind.) regarding a report the Indiana Democratic Party is purchasing ads to boost the Libertarian candidate in The Hoosier State’s tight Senate race. 

“Rumor has it that Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is paying for Facebook ads for his so-called opponent on the libertarian ticket. Donnelly is trying to steal the election? Isn’t that what Russia did!?” Trump tweeted Saturday.

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The tweet follows a report from The Daily Beast Friday that the state’s Democratic Party is funding Facebook ads questioning how conservative Republican candidate Mike Braun is and urging voters to support Libertarian candidate Lucy Brenton. The ads say they are “authorized by Donnelly for Indiana,” Donnelly’s reelection campaign.

“Mike Braun will say anything to get elected, but the fact is that he was an active Democrat for decades, and voted to raise your taxes 159 times,” one of the ads reads. Libertarian Party candidate “Lucy Brenton is the true anti-tax conservative.”

“The ads highlighting how Lucy Brenton is the true conservative in the Indiana Senate race are paid for by the Indiana Democratic Party. They are perfectly legal, factual, and accurately represent Lucy Brenton's anti-tax record. These ads draw attention to Rep. Braun’s record of voting to raise taxes on Hoosiers dozens of times as a State Representative while writing legislation to give himself tax breaks,” the Indiana Democratic Party said in a statement.

The ads could be an effort to divide the Republican vote ahead of an election for a Senate seat that Republicans are keen on flipping. The race as proven to be tight, with The Cook Political Report rating the race as a “toss up,” and President Trump won Indiana by nearly 20 points in 2016.

Democrats are defending 10 seats in states Trump won in 2016 and Republicans hope to expand on their 51-49 majority in Congress’ upper chamber.