The fundraising arm of President Donald Trump's campaign sought donations from people to "support our troops" by wrongly using a stock image of Russian fighter jets and assault rifles. The latest gaffe is an addition to a series of misuse of stock images and video footage by the Trump campaign since his 2016 presidential election bid.
The Trump Make America Great Again (MAGA) Committee was responsible for making the ad that ran from Sep. 8 to Sep. 12 on digital platforms. The GIF format ad showed silhouettes of three soldiers carrying weapons as fighter jets fly over them with a message: "Support our troops. Show your support." The image is available on Shutterstock.
Confirming to Politico, Ruslan Pukhov of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow said that the fighter jets were Russian MiG-29s and the soldier on the extreme right of the advert held an AK-74 assault rifle. Social media users were not amused with the gaffe and took a jibe at Trump's presidency.
The Trump campaign's misuse of stock images is not new. In July, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee used stock video footage of models to pass them off as Trump supporters. The same month, social media users accused the campaign of copying "America First" logo from the Nazi eagle logo, which was used by Adolf Hitler. The campaign used the revised version of the logo on T-shirts promoting "America First."
In 2015, Trump tweeted an overlaid image of himself, the White House and soldiers on the U.S. flag with a message: "We need real leadership. We need results. Let's put the U.S. back into business!" However, the soldiers turned out to be Nazi soldiers from World War II and Trump deleted the tweet soon.
In January 2016, the campaign posted a video on Facebook saying Trump would reform the Veterans Administration. But, the servicemen shown in the video were Soviet soldiers who wore medals that had the communist sickle and hammer symbol. The campaign then pulled down the footage. The same year, the campaign wrongly showed migrants crossing a border in Morocco as undocumented migrants rushing at the U.S. border.