Posts tagged with "The New York Times"

Ukraine announces investigation into Trump flunkies amid reports of surveillance of Yovanovitch

January 20, 2020\

Ukraine finally has announced an investigation, but it has nothing to do with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son Hunter. Rather, the small eastern European nation has opened a criminal investigation into allies of President Donald Trump, following reports that they had U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance while she was stationed in Kyiv, the Ukrainian government said on January 16.

According to a report by The New York Times, “The move was a remarkable departure from past practice for the new government of President Volodymyr Zelensky, which has tried hard to avoid any hint of partisanship in its dealings with Washington.”

The current situation has heightened those sensitivities, with Ukraine caught in the middle of the conflict between Democrats and Republicans over the impeachment of Trump for his pressure campaign on Ukraine.

But the recent release of documents in Washington has prompted a change of course, the Times notes. On Tuesday, just before the president’s impeachment trial in the Senate was scheduled to begin, House Democrats published text messages to and from Lev Parnas —who managed the president’s campaign of coercion on the ground in Ukraine for Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer. The texts pointed directly to the surveillance of Ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch.

The Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement released last Thursday that “the published messages contain facts of possible violations of Ukrainian law and of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which protect the rights of diplomats on the territory of another state.”

Ukraine “cannot ignore such illegal activities” on its territory, the statement said, adding that the national police had started criminal proceedings after analyzing the new material.

“Our goal is to investigate whether there were any violations of Ukrainian and international laws,” the ministry said in the statement. “Or maybe it was just bravado and fake conversation between two U.S. citizens.”

However, Ukrainian law and international obligations to protect the rights of diplomats serving on its territory forced the country to respond, the statement said. It called on the F.B.I. to provide all available “information and materials” related to people “who may be involved in a possible criminal offense.”

Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s interior minister, said the United States should take part in the investigation.

“Ukraine expects the United States of America to respond promptly and looks forward to cooperation,” the Interior Ministry’s statement said.

Research contact: @nytimes

Republicans abandon outright dismissal of impeachment charges

January 15, 2020

Despite President Donald Trump’s best efforts to attain an immediate dismissal of both articles of impeachment, the stage has been set in the U.S. Capitol for a tribunal—and the leading players for the House and the Senate will be chosen this week.

Indeed, according to a report by The New York Times , rank-and-file senators and party leaders made clear on Monday, January 13, that even if they wanted to pursue dismissal of the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the votes simply were not there to succeed—at least not at the outset of the trial.

Senate Republicans indicated that they would not seek to summarily dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump, proceeding instead to a trial with arguments and the possibility of calling witnesses that could begin as soon as Wednesday, the Times said.

Dismissal was always a long shot given Republicans’ narrow control of the Senate, but it was the subject of renewed discussion after Trump said on Sunday that he liked the idea put forward by some conservatives as a way to deny the House’s case the legitimacy of a trial.

 “Our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss,” Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a top Republican leader, told the Times. “They think both sides need to be heard. They believe the president needs to be heard for the first time in a fair setting.”

In the House on Monday, Democrats leaving meetings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that the chamber was most likely to vote on Wednesday to name lawmakers to prosecute the case and to send its two impeachment charges to the Senate.

Behind the scenes, aides in the House and Senate were carefully choreographing the next steps, and some Democrats in the House cautioned that a vote could still slip to Thursday, as the Senate seeks to deal with a pending War Powers Resolution and President Trump’s new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

In any case, a trial would not be expected to start in earnest, with opening oral arguments, until next week.

As the trial has approached, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, has seemed increasingly keen to keep it as tightly controlled and speedy as possible. According to the Times, “He is wary of what could happen if Democrats succeed in picking off moderate Republican senators to form a majority able to call witnesses and prolong the proceeding.”

But he also wants to ensure that those same moderate senators—several of whom are up this fall for re-election in swing states—can credibly claim to voters that they took their constitutional duties seriously.

However, on Twitter, the president warned that holding a full trial “gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump on track to become third U.S. president to be impeached

December 18, 2019

President Donald Trump has proven himself to be no match for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On Wednesday, he faced an odds-on impeachment vote in the House, where Democrats enjoy a 36-seat majority, Reuters reported.

In voting for his impeachment, the House would make Trump the third president in U.S. history to be accused of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as described in the Constitution—and declared guilty by official ballot.

Trump faces one charge of abusing his power by extorting Ukraine to investigate Biden, a leading Democratic contender to oppose him in the 2020 U.S. presidential election; and one of obstructing Congress’ investigation into the matter, Reuters said.

The president has denied wrongdoing and accused Democrats of a baseless and politically-motivated bid to oust him from power.

In a six-page letter delivered to Pelosi on the eve of the impeachment vote, Trump tried to turn the tables on the Democrats: “You are the ones interfering in America’s elections,” he wrote. “You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish, personal political, and partisan gain.”

A majority vote in the House would set the stage for a trial in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already has vowed to follow the lead of the president and the White House counsel.

Republicans hold 53 of the 100 seats in the Senate, where they appear likely to prevail in any trial against Trump, which would require a two-thirds majority of those present to remove him from office, Reuters noted.

Seeking to shape any trial, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called on Sunday for testimony from the Trump aides who allegedly viewed his criminal actions personally: White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, Mulvaney aide Robert Blair, and OMB official Michael Duffey.

“I hope we can come to an agreement about a fair trial,” Schumer told MSNBC in an interview Chris Hayes.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 on December 13, along party lines, to approve the two articles of impeachment against Trump and to send the matter to the full chamber. Late on Sunday, the panel issued its full report detailing the case against him.

In a tweet on Monday, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said Schumer’s comments seeking fairness were “laughable” after the release of the 658-page report “in the middle of the night. Thankfully the people of this country continue to see the partisan sham that this is.”

Research contact: @Reuters

We’re not pulling your leg: Marathon running may be good for your knees

December 18, 2019

It’s counter-intuitive, but a team of researchers from the United Kingdom and Switzerland has established that marathon training and racing actually may be good for our knees, The New York Times reports.

myth-toppling new study of novice, midlife runners suggests that taking up distance running rebuilds the health of certain essential components of middle-aged knees, even if the joints start off somewhat tattered and worn.

But the results also contain a caution: Marathon mileage could erode one vulnerable area within the knee, the study finds, if runners are not careful.

According to the Times’ report, we shouldn’t be so surprised by the news. Most past experiments have found that running generally is not harmful for healthy knees. In one much-cited study, elderly runners developed knee arthritis at lower rates than sedentary people. And in another, more recent study, young people’s knees grew less inflamed after a run than after a long stretch of sitting.

 

But most of this science has focused on whether running actively harms knees—not whether it might somehow refurbish and spiff up joints beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

That question became personal in 2012 for Dr. Alister Hart, an orthopedic surgeon and research professor at University College London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in the United Kingdom, who oversaw the new study. That year, he says, he ran his first marathon.

 “For two weeks afterward, I needed a handrail to do stairs,” he says. “My quads were agony. My hip- and knee-replacement colleagues told me that I was mad.”

He, too, was a bit concerned about his knees—and decided that it would be a service to all runners to look closely at what marathon training might be doing to those joints. So, for the new study, which was published in October in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, he and his research associate Laura Maria Horga and other colleagues turned to the entry rolls of an upcoming London Marathon.

There, they identified and contacted middle-aged entrants who had listed themselves as first-time marathon runners. They wound up with more than 80 novice racers, most in their mid-40s and few of whom had run or exercised much in the past, the Times notes.

The researchers asked these men and women about their knees. At this point, the marathon was still six months distant, and their joints were those of middle-aged adults and not yet those of runners. All of the soon-to-be marathoners responded that the joints were in good shape, with no creaks or pains.

The researchers then gathered the volunteers at a university facility and scanned everyone’s knees, using a sophisticated, high-resolution type of M.R.I. that reveals even minor damage in the joint’s tissues.

A few months later, the men and women began the same, four-month marathon-training program. Eventually, 71 of them finished the race, in an average time of 5 hours and 20 minutes. Two weeks later, they returned to the lab to have their knees re-scanned.

The scientists then compared their hundreds of before-and-after scans and turned up some surprises. For one, while the participants had reported at the start of the study that their knees felt fine, many, in fact, harbored damage. About half of the pre-training knees contained frayed or torn cartilage, and others showed lesions in the joint’s bone marrow. Similar patterns of tears and lesions can signal incipient bone erosion and arthritis, the researchers knew.

The post-race scans held other, new and unexpected results. “I expected to see additional damage” in runners’ knees, Dr. Hart said.

Instead, many of the existing bone-marrow lesions had shrunk, as had some of the damage in the runners’ cartilage. At the same time, some racers had developed new tears and strains in the cartilage and other tissues at the front of their knees, around the kneecap, a part of the joint known to be stressed during running. That area also, though, tends to be less prone to arthritis than other portions of the knee.

Over all, “the main weight-bearing knee compartments showed beneficial effects from the marathon,” says Dr. Horga, meaning that, in general, the knees were healthier.

Just how running remade the marathoners’ knees remains uncertain, she says, but it most likely involved strengthening of the muscles surrounding the joint, helping to stabilize it and reduce or even reverse tissue damage there. Meanwhile, the unfamiliar pounding of the running focused large forces on the kneecap area, overtaxing it.

Of course, this study was short-term and focused on middle-aged marathon newcomers with no history of knee problems. Whether running would be constructive for the knees of older runners or people whose joints ache is not certain.

In addition, the scientists do not know if changes in knee health linger or what the effects are on other joints, such as the hips. They are planning a six-month follow-up study of their participants’ knees and a study of hips to help answer those questions, the Times reports.. The results will be posted at their website, runningforscience.org.

Research contact: @nytimes

George Conway and other conservative Republicans launch super PAC to block Trump’s reelection

December 18, 2019

Did he get permission from Kellyanne? We doubt it. George Conway—a lawyer, a prominent GOP donor, and the husband one of President Donald Trump’s highest-profile spokespersons—is leading a group of conservative Republicans who are launching a super PAC aimed at stopping Trump from winning reelection, The Hill reports.

The Lincoln Project represents the first formal operation for the so-called “Never Trump” movementthe Associated Press also reported on December 17.

Organizers already have gotten over $1 million in fundraising commitments and hope for more—all to be spent on anti-Trump advertising in the build-up to the 2020 election.

The group announced the launch of the super PAC in a New York Times op-ed (“We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated”) published Tuesday, authored by Conway, former Republican operative Steve Schmidt, former  adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) John Weaver, and Republican strategist Rick Wilson.

This effort transcends partisanship and is dedicated to nothing less than preservation of the principles that so many have fought for, on battlefields far from home and within their own communities,” read the op-ed in the Times.

The authors wrote that their effort over the next 11 months will be to defeat Trump “and Trumpism at the ballot box and to elect those patriots who will hold the line.”

“We do not undertake this task lightly, nor from ideological preference,” the authors noted, adding, “We have been, and remain, broadly conservative (or classically liberal) in our politics and outlooks,” they wrote. “Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain, but our shared fidelity to the Constitution dictates a common effort.”

The group reportedly plans to target disenfranchised Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents in an effort to hinder Trump’s reelection and to defeat Trump-aligned GOP Senate candidates in key 2020 battleground states, including Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Maine and possibly Kansas and Kentucky.

The group’s ads are expected to start airing early next year.

Research contact: @thehill

From no-show to must-go: McGahn must testify to Congress, judge rules; DOJ will appeal

November 27, 2019

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn—who often spoke truth to the president, but refused to testify before the U.S. Congress after he was subpoenaed last April to do so—may yet face the music, if an appeal by the Trump administration of the ruling made on November 25 by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia  is not successful.

The ruling that McGahn must appear before Congress comes as a disappointment to the president, who had made it no secret that he wanted to block all White House aides from appearing before the House impeachment investigators.

Indeed, Judge Jackson said that senior presidential aides must comply with congressional subpoenas and characterized the administration’s arguments to the contrary as “fiction,” The New York Times reported.

Her 120-page decision handed another lower-court victory to House Democrats in their fight to overcome Mr. Trump’s stonewalling. However, Attorney General Bill Barr already has requested a continuance so that he can appeal the case—despite the fact that the judge has stated that “absolute immunity from congressional subpoenas has no basis in law.”

She addressed the Department of Justice directly, noting that, ““When DOJ insists that Presidents can lawfully prevent their senior-level aides from responding to compelled congressional process; and that neither the federal courts nor Congress has the power to do anything about it, DOJ promotes a conception of separation-of-powers principles that gets these constitutional commands exactly backwards,” Jackson wrote. “In reality, it is a core tenet of this Nation’s founding that the powers of a monarch must be split between the branches of the government to prevent tyranny.”

According to the Times report, the judge said “the same is true even for those who worked on national security issues.”

“Presidents are not kings,” wrote Judge Jackson, adding that current and former White House officials owe their allegiance to the Constitution. “They do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.”

The ruling by Judge Jackson, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, could have broader consequences for the investigation into the Ukraine affair, the news outlet noted.

Notably, John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, has let it be known that he has significant information about the Ukraine affair at the heart of the impeachment inquiry—but is uncertain whether any congressional subpoena for his testimony would be constitutionally valid. He wants a judge to decide.

Judge Jackson’s ruling also came on the same day that another federal judge in Washington held out the possibility that more documents about the Ukraine affair could yet see the light of day, ruling that emails between the White House and the Pentagon about the freezing of military aid to Ukraine should be released under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Research contact: @nytimes

Sondland: ‘Everyone was in the loop’ and ‘followed Trump’s orders,’ pressed for a ‘quid pro quo’

November 21, 2019

The team on the ground in Ukraine was following President Donald Trump’s orders, Ambassador Gordon Sondland said in no uncertain terms in his dramatic testimony in the impeachment inquiry on November 20. And those orders included working with the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to extract a quid pro quo from the new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Specifically, the United States would provide a meeting with Trump in the White House and close to $400 million in military aid in exchange for a public announcement by Zelensky on CNN that Ukraine would investigate the 2016 election, the energy company Burisma; and 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden, along with his son Hunter.

Indeed, Ambassador Gordon said in his opening statement, obtained by The New York Times, that the first thing his interlocutors should know is that, “Secretary [of Energy Rick] Perry, Ambassador [Kurt] Volker, and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States.”

“We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani, “Sondland noted. “Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that, if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President’s orders.”

“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ ” Sondland said in sworn testimony. “With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the European Union—described by The Washington Post as “a longtime Republican donor who gave $1 million to the presidential inaugural committee and was confirmed by the Republican Senate”—gave the House Intelligence Committee an account of the president’s culpability in leveraging the power of the Oval Office for his own political gain.

According to the Post’s report, Democrats said Sondland’s testimony pulled back the curtain on the extent of the Ukraine pressure campaign—implicating not just the president but Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

“We now can see the veneer has been torn away,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) told reporters during a break in the testimony, arguing that the situation as described by Sondland “goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other potential high crimes or misdemeanors.”

“I think a very important moment in the history of this inquiry,” he added.

Sondland said “there was no secret” about the work within a much larger circle of Trump’s Cabinet. Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said

Digging a deeper hole for the secretary of state to climb out of, Sondland said that Pompeo was involved at several points, including the key point of withholding security assistance—and that he “was aware that a commitment to investigations was among the issues we were pursuing.”

The ambassador said that he was never privy to the White House meetings where the aid was frozen—but that he became convinced it was being held up as leverage and thought that was inappropriate, the Post said.

“In the absence of any credible explanation for the hold, I came to the conclusion that the aid, like the White House visit, was jeopardized,” Sondland said. “My belief was that if Ukraine did something to demonstrate a serious intention” to launch the investigations Trump wanted, “then the hold on military aid would be lifted.”

Following the testimony, in brief remarks to reporters outside the White House, Trump distanced himself from Sondland, saying, “This is not a man I know well.” He noted that Sondland testified that the president had denied to him there was a quid pro quo.

“That means it’s all over,” Trump said.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Study debunks ‘standard operating procedures’ for blocked arteries

November 19, 2019

The findings of a large federal study on the efficacy of cardiac bypass surgeries and stents—led by NYU Langone Health with collaboration from 15 other leading U.S. and Canadian hospitals—call into question the medical care provided to tens of thousands of heart disease patients with blocked coronary arteries, scientists reported at a meeting of the American Heart Association on November 16.

The purpose of the ISCHEMIA trial was to determine the best management strategy for higher-risk patients with stable ischemic heart disease (also known as hardening of the arteries). The study involved over 5,000 participants.

Among the researchers’ key findings: Drug therapy, alone, may save lives just as effectively as bypass or stenting procedures. Stenting and bypass procedures, however, did help some patients with intractable chest pain, called angina.

“You would think that if you fix the blockage the patient will feel better or do better,” Dr. Alice Jacobs, director of Cath Lab and Interventional Cardiology at Boston University, told The New York Times after the results were released.. The study, she added, “certainly will challenge our clinical thinking.”

This is far from the first study to suggest that stents and bypass are overused. But, the Times reports, previous results have not deterred doctors, who have called earlier research on the subject inconclusive and the design of the trials flawed.

Previous studies did not adequately control for risk factors, like LDL cholesterol, that might have affected outcomes, Dr. Elliott Antman, a senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told the news outlet in an interview. Nor did those trials include today’s improved stents, which secrete drugs intended to prevent opened arteries from closing again.

With its size and rigorous design, the new study, called Ischemia, was intended to settle questions about the benefits of stents and bypass.

“This is an extraordinarily important trial,” Dr. Glenn Levine, director of Cardiac Care at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told The New York Times.

The results will be incorporated into treatment guidelines, added Dr. Levine, who sits on the guidelines committee of the American Heart Association.\

However, there may be a catch: The conventional wisdom among cardiologists is that the sort of medical therapy that patients got in Ischemia is just not feasible in the real world, said Dr. William E. Boden, scientific director of the Clinical Trials Network at VA Boston Healthcare System, who was a member of the study’s leadership committee.

Doctors often say that making sure patients adhere to the therapy is “too demanding, and we don’t have time for it,” he said.

But getting a stent does not obviate the need for medical therapy, Dr. Boden told the Times. Since patients with stents need an additional anti-clotting drug, they actually wind up taking more medication than patients who are treated with drugs alone.

About one-third of stent patients develop chest pain again within 30 days to six months and end up with receiving another stent, Dr. Boden added.

“We have to finally get past the whining about how hard optimal medical therapy is and begin in earnest to educate our patients as to what works and is effective and what isn’t,” Dr. Boden said.

Research source: @nytimes

Born to run? Michael Bloomberg files paperwork to enter 2020 presidential race

November 11, 2019

Another billionaire–this one with abundant political experience—having held three consecutive terms as mayor of New York City—is about to join the 2020 presidential race, running for the nomination on the Democratic ticket.

Michael Bloomberg, who will be 78 next February—and who currently is the CEO and owner of Bloomberg LP, a global financial services firm— is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in Alabama, a state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Bloomberg’s plans told The New York Times for a November 7 report.

Bloomberg and his advisers called a number of prominent Democrats on Thursday, November 7, to tell them he was seriously considering the race—including former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the retired majority leader who remains a dominant power broker in the early caucus state.

The Times said that aides to Bloomberg also reached out to Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

Reid said in a brief interview with the news outlet that Bloomberg had not explicitly said he was running for president but that the implication of the call had been clear.

His entry into the race would cause a seismic disruption—but it might be welcomed by party leaders who are looking for a centrist politician with political seasoning who could stand up to Trump .

According to the Times report, with his immense personal wealth, centrist view, and close ties to the political establishment, Bloomberg would present an instantaneous threat to former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been struggling to raise money and is already defending his ideologically moderate base on multiple fronts.

Bloomberg initially bowed out of the 2020 race because of Biden’s apparent strength, but he has since grown skeptical that the top-polling Democrat is on track to win the nomination—and he does not see the two leading liberals in the race, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as strong candidates for the general election.

Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to. Bloomberg, said on Thursday that the former mayor has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary. He said Bloomberg viewed President Trump as an “unprecedented threat to our nation,” and noted the Democrat’s heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week’s off-year races in Virginia.

“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated—but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Wolfson told The New York Times. “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”

Advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.

Research contact: @nytimes

Parallel universes: Dems raising $75 million to go head-to-head with GOP on social media

November 5, 2019

Two can play that game: A progressive organization called Acronym is plunging into the presidential campaign—revealing plans to spend $75 million on digital advertising that will be used to counterbalance and neutralize President Donald Trump’s early spending advantage in key 2020 battleground states, The New York Times reported on November 4.

And such a rampart may well be needed: Trump has spent more than $26 million so far nationally just on Facebook and Google, the news outlet says. That’s more than the four top-polling Democrats—Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg—have spent in total on those platforms.

Since its creation as a nonprofit group dedicated to building power and digital infrastructure for the progressive movement in March 2017, Acronym claims to have “run dozens of targeted media programs to educate, inspire, register, and mobilize voters,” as well as to have “worked with dozens of partners to accelerate their advocacy programs and investments.”

In the 2018 cycle, Acronym developed new digital tools and strategies to encourage voters to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day. Through these programs, Acronym and its affiliated political action committee, Pacronym, claim to have helped elect 65 progressive candidates across the country.

Photo source: AcronymAnd in January 2019, the group launched Shadow, a technology company focused on building accessible, user-centered products to enable progressive organizers to run smarter campaigns

Political organizers and pundits agree that such an effort is necessary. “The gun on this general election does not start when we have a nominee; it started months ago,” said David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and was a key adviser to him in 2012, and who recently joined Acronym’s board. ”If the things that need to happen don’t happen in these battleground states between now and May or June, our nominee will never have time to catch up.“

In an interview with the Times, Plouffe and Tara McGowan, the founder and chief executive of Acronym, said their digital campaign would kick off immediately, with a heavy focus on shaping how the public views Trump and the Democratic Party during the primary season, well before a nominee emerges.

“Our nominee is going to be broke, tired, have to pull together the party; and turn around on a dime and run a completely different race for a completely different audience,” Plouffe said.

“There is an enormous amount of danger between now and then,” he added. “If the hole is too steep to dig out of, they’re not going to win.”

The campaign, which the organization is calling “Four is Enough,” will focus initially on key swing states: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. One state that is historically a battleground was notably missing from the initial list: Florida.

The effort will feature advertisements across multiple digital platforms, including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Hulu, and Pandora. There will be original content, such as videos and animations, as well as boosting local news coverage that portrays Trump, his administration,and his agenda in a harsh light.

McGowan told the news outlet that for months her group had been raising the alarm about the president’s early online spending advantage.

“It started to feel as though we were really screaming into the abyss,” she said. So

McGowan told the Times that the group had already raised approximately 40% of the planned $75 million budget. She noted that Plouffe has joined as both a political adviser and to help raise funds. The spending will be made across two groups, Acronym, which is a nonprofit that does not disclose its donors, and Pacronym, a political action committee, which does. (The group’s winking moniker is a poke at the frequent practice of settling on a meaningful series of words to form an acronym for a nonprofit; they have skipped that alphabet-soup step entirely.)

“We’re absolutely, as a party, not doing enough and I don’t know that $75 million is enough,” McGowan said. “We can’t afford to not do this work right now.” Of the fact that some of her group’s donors would remain undisclosed, she said, “We have to play on the field that exists,” noting that Trump is aided by such funds, as well.

Research contact: @nytimes