By Charles Riley
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Smirnoff is running an advertisement in the U.S. that leans on its Russian pedigree to needle the White House over allegations of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia during the 2016 campaign.
“Made in America,” the ad says. “But we’d be happy to talk about our ties to Russia under oath.”
Smirnoff, now owned by British spirits giant Diageo, traces its heritage back to 19th Century Russia. Pictured in the ad is a Moscow Mule cocktail, a drink the brand claims to have invented in 1941.
“Smirnoff has been made in America for more than eight decades,” a spokesperson for Diageo said in a statement. “The recent interest in American-made products created the perfect opportunity to reinforce that fact and the brand’s roots in Russia — with a wink and nod to current affairs.”
Smirnoff’s new ad campaign pic.twitter.com/IPEwbLJFlq
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) June 11, 2017
The spokesperson was not able to confirm where the ad was running or how long the campaign would run. Trump is a teetotaler.
The Justice Department last month appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials.
Former FBI director James Comey testified last week that the president had pressed him to drop a probe into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify at a public hearing of the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday.
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