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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Omarosa’s campaign ad campaign could run afoul of campaign spending rules

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Former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman is hitting the West Coast this week to promote her memoir, but she may soon face paying back some of the money she spent at restaurant Cosmopolitan.

The White House said on Monday that Mr. Trump approved of the ad buy in New York City and online. It is running in the Los Angeles area, but not in Philadelphia, where she was born. The ads are running for 24 hours on TV stations and online at Cosmopolitan.com.

But the Trump campaign is now contending that the buy violated regulations because Cosmopolitan’s ads were airing before the books come out.

A Trump campaign official said the campaign was told by the independent group spending money to buy airtime that it was permitted to buy the time in New York City, where Cosmopolitan is headquartered. The official said that Cosmopolitan’s ads didn’t air in Philadelphia — where a new book is to be released next week — for the same reason.

“Our concerns are common knowledge to this organization as our issues account managers and legal counsel have had ongoing discussions about these issues for months,” the official said. “We will take all appropriate steps when the Los Angeles ads run through to make sure these ad dollars are refunded.”

Mr. Trump has sent mixed messages about the presidential campaign ad buys. He was critical at first of them, but soon began appearing on them himself. At times, he has even praised them.

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