- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 24, 2020

White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threatened to sue for libel Friday over billboards placed in Times Square in New York City by the Lincoln Project super PAC.

The Lincoln Project, which is led by several former Republicans opposed to reelecting President Trump, responded by saying it planned to leave the billboards in place, however.

“While we truly enjoy living rent free in their heads, their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared,” the super PAC said in a statement.

The billboards are located side-by-side and separately depict Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner seemingly rejoicing in the devastating impact of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

One of the billboards depicts Ms. Trump smiling while gesturing toward the number of people in New York and nationwide killed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The other billboard shows Mr. Kushner smirking above several body bags and alongside a paraphrased excerpt of something he was quoted as saying in a recent Vanity Fair article.

“[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem,” Mr. Kushner is quoted as saying on the billboard.

A lawyer for Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner — the president’s eldest daughter and her husband, respectively — called the ads “false, malicious and defamatory” and demanded they come down.

“Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement. Ms. Trump never made any such gesture, and the Lincoln Project’s representations that they did are an outrageous and shameful libel,” lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz said in the letter. “If these billboard ads are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages.”

The Lincoln Project shared that legal warning Friday on social media followed by its statement rejecting the attorney’s request.

“The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical,” the super PAC said in the statement.

“It is unsurprising that an administration that has never had any regard or understanding of our Constitution would try to trample on our first amendment rights, but we fully intend on making this civics lesson as painful as possible. Jared and Ivanka have always been entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people. We plan on showing them the same level of respect,” the group added.

Mr. Kasowitz did not immediately respond to a message over the weekend seeking his reaction.

The Lincoln Project was launched last year by several former Republicans, including attorney George Conway — the husband of former Trump White House counsel Kellyanne Conway — and political consultants Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, among others. It has spent millions of dollars so far toward defeating Mr. Trump in next month’s election.

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