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Lincoln Project asks in new ad if you trust Trump or Fauci amid attacks

The Lincoln Project, a Republican anti-Trump super PAC, asks viewers in an ad released Wednesday whether they trust President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE or Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci donates personal COVID-19 virus model to Smithsonian Fauci warns of risks from single-dose strategy for Pfizer, Moderna vaccines MAGALand in Orlando MORE as the nation's top infectious diseases expert comes under attack from administration officials.

The ad's narrator praises Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, calling him an “American hero” and a “natural leader.” His work under six presidents, including under President George H.W. Bush, who celebrated Fauci for his research on AIDS, is also highlighted.

“In a time when truth is under assault, he’s always been straight with us,” the narrator says, citing Fauci’s March testimony in front of Congress predicting that the pandemic “will get worse.”

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The ad counters that “President Trump lied,” referring to his repeated claims that the coronavirus will “like a miracle ... disappear.”

“Now Donald Trump is attacking Dr. Fauci,” the narrator says. “Why? Because Trump failed America, so he does what he always does: attack and blame.”

The Lincoln Project then poses a question to viewers: “So who do you trust? Donald the Dope? ... Or the doctor?”

Reed Galen, a co-founder for The Lincoln Project, said in a statement that Fauci is a “profoundly respected physician, whose work has improved the lives of millions of Americans.” 

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“President Trump’s incompetence has cost 130,000 Americans their lives, sickened millions more and wrecked our economy,” he added.

Fauci’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic has at times run counter to Trump’s, with the infectious diseases expert pushing for more cautious reopening of the U.S. after shutdowns. The president’s administration instead sought to reopen more quickly to combat the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

The White House has become more vocal in its criticism of Fauci in recent weeks, with trade adviser Peter Navarro accusing Fauci of being “wrong about everything I have interacted with him on” in a USA Today op-ed. 

Trump himself said in an interview with Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityGrenell hints at potential California gubernatorial bid Cruz blames criticism of Cancun trip on media 'Trump withdrawal' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB MORE last week that Fauci was a “nice man” but that “he’s made a lot of mistakes.”

The Lincoln Project was launched last year by a group of anti-Trump conservatives, including attorney George ConwayGeorge ConwayLincoln Project forming 'transition advisory committee' amid calls to close The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats ready mammoth relief bill for 10-day sprint Lincoln Project faces calls to shut down MORE, who is married to White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway calls for thorough Lincoln Project probe: 'The lying has to stop' Claudia Conway advances on 'American Idol,' parents Kellyanne, George appear The swift death of the media darlings known as the Lincoln Project MORE. The super PAC has released several ads in recent weeks blasting Trump as the 2020 presidential election ramps up.