Did Donald Trump’s First Presidential TV Ad Mistake Mexico for Morocco?
Donald Trump has taken his campaign to the small screen in his first television ad. However, the Republican presidential candidate might want to do some major fact checking before airing the next one.
About halfway through the brand new ad, Trump and his team show footage of dozens of people swarming over a border fence, where the narrator reinforces Trumps plans for immigrants.
“He’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
It is clear that the ad is trying to imply that the footage is the “southern border” between the US and Mexico. However, Trump might want to refresh his geography skills as the footage is actually from a small Spanish town in the enclaves of Morocco, about 5,000 miles away.
PolitiFact was able to trace the footage back to the Italian TV network RepubblicaTV that aired the footage on May 3, 2014. The footage is actually documenting Moroccans crossing the border into Melilla, part of the enclaves on the Moroccan coast. The video made its debut in 2014 and resurfaced on YouTube in July of 2015. Both videos show the time stamp and RepubblicaTV’s logo, however they were both edited out when the footage made its way into Trump’s ad.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, “did not know the source of the video included in the ad and that she doesn’t speak for the video production company,” shared Politifact.
Trump later released a statement explaining the mishap.
“The use of this footage was intentional and selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration. The biased mainstream media doesn’t understand, but Americans who want to protect their jobs and families do.”
Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski did not hold back when asked about the ad.
“No sh– it’s not the Mexican border, but that’s what our country is going to look like. This was 1,000 percent on purpose,” Lewandowski told NBC News.
Lewandowski later followed up in an email with NBC News explaining that the use of the “footage was intentional and selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border.”