March 19, 2019

Pro-Trump Group Launching Ads Supporting Meadows, Jordan

Two top congressional allies of Donald Trump will get support from a key group backing the President as the 2020 campaign gets underway.

The pro-Trump America First Policies group is launching two television ads this week in support of Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the group tells CNN. Both are ardent supporters of the President on Capitol Hill and on the cable news circuit.

The $100,000 ad buy is a sign that Trump-aligned groups are rewarding those loyal to the President.

Both congressman come from reliably Republican districts, but that could change. In Ohio, Democratic groups have filed a federal lawsuit that could change the congressional map, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to take up the North Carolina General Assembly's appeal of a trial court ruling on a gerrymandering case later this month.

Trump has long made it clear he prizes loyalty -- and those in his orbit are paying close attention to those who are with him and those who are not.

For instance, ahead of last week's Senate vote on the resolution to overturn his emergency declaration, White House aides conveyed a stern message to GOP senators, especially those up for re-election in 2020: There will be consequences if they vote with the Democrats and defy the President. Aides have vowed it will affect their standing with the administration and there will be retribution, including potential primary fights.

In the past, America First Policies has hit members who did not support the administration's policy initiatives, including then-Sen. Dean Heller on health care and the late Rep. Walter Jones on the tax bill.

But Meadows and Jordan have set themselves apart as staunch defenders of Trump and both have his ear on issues related to the ongoing Russia investigation and internal politics of the GOP conference. Jordan is the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which grilled former Trump fixer Michael Cohen last month.

The ads feature video of Meadows and Jordan standing with Trump -- literally -- and urge supporters to call the Capitol switchboard and thank the congressmen "for protecting America." The ads also highlight Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, who has bankrolled millions of dollars of television commercials calling for the President's impeachment.

The congressmen, per the ads, "(stand) up to socialists," noting their votes on regulations and taxes and their support of Trump's border wall -- all themes that the Trump campaign is expected to hammer throughout the 2020 race.

The ads, which will appear on broadcast and cable networks in Meadows' and Jordan's respective districts, will run for one week starting Wednesday.

"America First Policies is proud to take part in the effort to ensure that voters in North Carolina and Ohio understand that Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are fighting for their interests in Washington," spokesman Alex Titus said in a statement.

Since the 2018 midterm elections, where Trump played an active role campaigning for Republicans around the country, the campaign has been ramping up largely behind-the-scenes, building out its team and strategy, led by campaign manager Brad Parscale.

While Democrats have begun criss-crossing early voting states, Trump has held just one campaign rally in 2019, a trip to El Paso, Texas, to pitch his border wall after declaring a national emergency. He is scheduled to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a rally later this month.

Those efforts will be paired with the nonprofit America First Policies, which is aligned with the America First Action super PAC.

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