Republicans for the Rule of Law is running a 30-second ad in Washington during the interview that criticizes Whitaker, picked by Trump to head the Department of Justice after the president forced out Jeff Sessions.
The ad calls for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia because of Whitaker’s past statements deriding the probe. “America needs an attorney general who doesn’t play politics,” the ad warns.
The same ad ran Wednesday during Trump’s favorite morning program, “Fox & Friends.”
Whitaker “cannot be trusted to fairly oversee” Mueller’s investigation,” said a statement sent by the organization to Huffpost. “Having publicly and repeatedly prejudged Robert Mueller’s investigation, Whitaker has given us... every reason to believe he will be guided by President Trump’s interests rather than the country’s.”
Critics fear that Trump chose Whitaker to shut down Mueller’s probe.
The Republican group has previously spoken out to protect the Mueller investigation. “Interfering in the special counsel’s investigation will hurt the president, hurt the GOP and hurt the country,” said an earlier ad. But Whitaker’s appointment has reignited the fight.
The group is part of the organization Defending Democracy Together, launched earlier this year by Republicans including Bill Kristol, founder of the conservative Weekly Standard, and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman. The organization’s stated mission is to protect the “integrity” of the election process, federal agencies and the Republican Party, and to “fight for” the “rule of law, free trade and expanding legal immigration.”
The group supports “the rule of law,” the ”independence of the criminal justice system,” a free press and civil discourse “regardless of the party or persons in power,” the group said in a statement.
Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to specify that the interview with Donald Trump aired on “Fox News Sunday” and not a Fox News Channel show.