“Foreign governments cannot participate in the American political process,” Pence declares in a 2016 clip featured in the spot created by Republicans for the Rule of Law. The ad will air Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in the Washington, D.C., market.
Pence was attacking Hillary Clinton over donations foreign governments made to the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state. But as the spot notes, Pence has remained silent as foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain spend big at Trump-owned hotels and resorts.
An analysis by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington identified more than 110 officials representing some 60 foreign governments who have stayed at Trump properties since the inauguration, according to The New York Times.
In addition, Trump has come under fire for government spending at his own properties. This week, it was revealed that the U.S. military had spent at least $184,000 at Turnberry, Trump’s resort in Scotland. And earlier this month, Pence and his entourage stayed at Trump’s resort in Ireland, even though it was some 180 miles from the site of his meetings in the country.
Chris Truax, legal adviser and spokesman for Republicans for the Rule of Law, said it was wrong when Clinton allowed the donations to the foundation, which was set up by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. But he added:
It’s doubly wrong when President Trump allows foreign governments to pour money into his for-profit hotels. And when President Trump allows the U.S. government to pour money into his hotels, it crosses the line between the appearance of corruption and corruption itself.
“Not allowing politicians to line their own pockets with taxpayer money is Democracy 101,” Truax added.
The group said the ad will be the first salvo in a larger campaign aimed at attacking corruption in the Trump administration:
Republicans for the Rule of Law has also attacked key GOP figures aligned with the president. The organization recently launched a campaign blasting Republican senators for failing to act on election security issues to block further interference from Russia.
The group’s ads targeted Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell, who earned the nickname “Moscow Mitch” for his obstruction, was urged to allow votes on two stalled election security bills.