Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s new television ad showing dozens of people swarming over a border fence is being criticized by a prominent fact-checker for using footage from a Spanish autonomous city that shares a border with Morocco.
The ad features a narrator who says of Trump, "He'll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for,” as images show people streaming across a border fence.
PolitiFact said the footage comes from the Italian television network RepubblicaTV, which posted video on May 3, 2015 of Moroccans crossing the border into the Spanish city of Melilla.
"Trump’s television ad purports to show Mexicans swarming over 'our southern border.' However, the footage used to support this point actually shows African migrants streaming over a border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, more than 5,000 miles away. We rate the claim Pants on Fire," PolitiFact said in its ruling on the ad.
But the Trump campaign defended the ad, the candidate's first TV ad of the 2016 cycle.
In a statement to Fox News on Monday, Trump’s campaign said the use of the 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 main stream media doesn’t understand, but Americans who want to protect their jobs and their families do," the statement continued.
The ad is part of the campaign's $2 million-a-week buy in early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire.