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Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn are launching Wednesday a new conservative group opposed to President Trump, kicking things off with launched Wednesday with a television advertisement questioning his connections to Russia. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

  • Evan McMullin to launch conservative group opposing Trump
  • Stand Up Republic’s first television spot questions Trump’s ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and suggests that the new president is hiding something and needs to come clean about his connections to Moscow.
  • But Trump has been unusually gracious toward Putin and his adversarial agenda since launching his presidential campaign in 2015.
  • Trump also previously defended Putin against charges, supported by U.S. intelligence gathering, that he meddled in the presidential election.

Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn will launch a new conservative group on Wednesday that’s opposed to President Trump, and will kick off the effort with a television advertisement questioning his connections to Russia. Stand Up Republic is a new 501(c)4 political nonprofit organization. McMullin and Finn, both Republicans, waged a long-shot independent bid for president in 2016 to block Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton from winning 270 electoral votes, and throw the election to the House. They envision their new group as a home for conservative grassroots opposition to Trump, but plan to partner with activists on the left who share their concerns about the threat they believe Trump poses to the Constitution, equality and liberty. Stand Up Republic’s first television spot questions Trump’s ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and suggests that the new president is hiding something and needs to come clean about his connections to Moscow.

@TheRickWilson: Evan McMullin to launch conservative group opposing Trump via @DCExaminer

They envision their new group as a home for conservative grassroots opposition to Trump, but plan to partner with activists on the left who share their concerns about the threat they believe Trump poses to the Constitution, equality and liberty. Stand Up Republic’s first television spot questions Trump’s ties to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and suggests that the new president is hiding something and needs to come clean about his connections to Moscow.

The ad is clearly intended to provoke the president. It’s slated to run for two weeks in the Washington and New York markets only — and only on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” because Trump is known to be an avid watcher of the cable news network’s morning program.

“We are conservatives who have concerns about this administration taking this country further away from liberty,” Finn said. “A huge number of people on the right share those concerns — and they’re valid concerns — and we believe someone needs to stand up for them. We need to do that in a constructive way.”

Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn are launching Wednesday a new conservative group opposed to President Trump, kicking things off with launched Wednesday with a television advertisement questioning his connections to Russia. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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