Trump Ad Running in Swing States Uses Footage From Russia for the Fourth Time in Three Months

A new ad supporting President Donald Trump‘s re-election is using stock footage from Russia, the fourth time in the past three months this has occurred.

The ad, which was released by the America First Action super PAC, will air in three key swing states: Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“America First Action, the largest outside group supporting President Donald J. Trump’s reelection, has committed another $10 million in independent expenditures from now through Election Day, bringing our total spend to $116 million since mid-April,” a press release from the PAC said. “The ads will focus on Joe Biden‘s disastrous economic record, and why Americans can’t afford to give Biden another four years in office.”

The ad, titled “Pandemic Tax,” begins by criticizing Biden and his 40 years in Washington, as a Delaware senator and then vice president.

As the ad approaches the 14-second mark, a short clip of a couple holding up a baby is shown, with the words “High taxes on every income group.” Politico reported that this clip is titled “Man and Woman Playing With Baby Near the Window” and can be purchased on the stock footage website Pond5. The clip is being sold by a user who goes by the username Kmikhidov, and the person’s location on the site is listed as Russia.

The same user is also selling the clip on Shutterstock, and his Facebook page is linked to his account, which shows his full name as Konstantin Mikhidov. His Facebook page location is listed as Novosibirsk, Russia.

Shortly after the first clip is shown, another one appears, showing an elderly woman looking out of a window, with the words “Higher taxes on middle class retirement.”

Politico reported that this clip can be found and purchased on iStockphoto for $60 and is being sold by a user named Zdyma4. The same clip is also being sold by the same user on Dreamstime, another stock footage website. On this site, the user lists his full name as Viachaslau Rutkouski and has his location set as Minsk, Belarus.

Asked for comment, Kelly Sadler, a spokesperson for America First Action, told Politico, “We also used video footage taken in China in multiple ads.”

Newsweek reached out to the America First Action for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

U.S. President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on October 13.
Jeff Swensen/Getty

Several other pro-Trump ads have used images from Russia. Just last month, an ad released by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee used a stock photo of Russian fighter jets and Russian models as soldiers.

Another ad released by Trump’s campaign uses stock footage from Russia. In it, a clip of a conveyor belt is shown and several cardboard boxes can be seen with the words “Made in the USA” on the side. This clip was shared on Shutterstock and was created by Russian photographer and illustrator Novikov Aleksey. On Aleksey’s Shutterstock page, the clip of the cardboard boxes can be seen with the words “Made in Iran” and “Made in UAE.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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