Ad accuses Rand Paul of supporting terrorists, not Kentuckians

Ad accuses Rand Paul of supporting terrorists, not Kentuckians
© Greg Nash

A television spot targeting Kentucky Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill MORE (R) accuses the libertarian-leaning senator of supporting civil rights for accused terrorists over Americans' safety.

Politico reports that a 30-second ad from the little-known conservative group American Exceptionalism Institute hits Paul over his refusal to support Gina Haspel, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE's nominee to lead the CIA.

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Paul has refused to support Haspel over her role in the CIA's “enhanced interrogation” program, which many have called torture.

“Haspel did exactly what her country asked of her and what was necessary to keep us safe,” a narrator says in the ad, while flashing images show a picture of top al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah. "Call Rand Paul, remind him he’s in Washington to represent us, not him."

The ad will run on Fox News stations around the state for 10 days, Brian Kinnett, a spokesman for the group, told Politico. Kinnett, whose group's webpage lists no information about it or its policy positions, says the ad is meant to pressure Paul into reversing his intended vote on Haspel as he did for Trump's pick to lead the State Department, Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEx-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump Pompeo rejects idea that the United States abandoned Kurds Mike Pompeo's Faustian bargain MORE, the news outlet noted.

“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 said.

"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,” he added.

A statement from Paul's office called the ads "ill-conceived" and "false," and attacked the group's "hidden donors."

"Senator Paul remains committed to his principles and every day continues commitment to represent the people of Kentucky," the statement reads.

"These ads are ill-conceived, false, and are being run by a front group with hidden donors. Senator Paul stands by his opposition to a flawed nominee who was complicit in torture and coverup."

--This report was updated at 12:28 p.m.