- An ad from President Donald Trump’s campaign urging Americans to “Support Our Troops” used a stock photo of Russian fighter jets, Politico reported.
- The ad shows troops walking and Russian Air Force MiG-29 jets flying overhead.
- That photo is available to download on the stock-image website Shutterstock, Politico found.
- The ad ran from September 8 to 12 and was viewed about 10,000 times, according to Google data.
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An advertisement from President Donald Trump’s campaign urging Americans to support US troops featured images of Russian fighter jets.
The online ad, paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, ran from September 8 to 12. It showed three troops walking below fighter jets alongside the words “Support Our Troops.”
However, the jet in the image isn’t used by the US Air Force.
Pierre Sprey, an engineer who has designed jets for the Air Force, told Politico that it was actually a Russian air force MiG-29.
“I’m glad to see it’s supporting our troops,” he said.
The image of the jets and the troops are available to download royalty-free on the stock-image website Shutterstock, Politico reported.
Ruslan Pukhov, the director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, also told Politico that the service member on the far right in the ad was carrying an AK-74 rifle, a Soviet-developed weapon.
Data from the Google Transparency Report indicated that the image was viewed about 10,000 times and cost the Trump Make America Great Again Committee less than $100,000.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. Politico said that neither the Trump campaign nor the Republican National Committee responded to its requests for comment.
In July, the Trump campaign used an image from protests in Ukraine in 2014 in a Facebook ad to depict “chaos & violence” in the US.
Trump has recently faced criticism of his treatment of the US armed forces.
A September 3 article from The Atlantic said that Trump called US troops who died in World War I “losers” and “suckers,” prompting many top US military figures and officials to condemn the president. Trump denied The Atlantic’s reporting, but other outlets, including Fox News, have corroborated it.
Additionally, with 49 days until the 2020 election, Russia has been accused of seeking to influence it in Trump’s favor.
On July 24, William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that “using a range of efforts, including internet trolls and other proxies,” Russia “continues to spread disinformation in the US that is designed to undermine confidence in our democratic process.”
US officials have said Russia’s intelligence agency has targeted Americans with news articles that spread misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and attack the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
The Trump campaign has spent freely in 2020 to date, blowing a $200 million lead in campaign funds that it had over Biden’s team.
Trump reportedly considered putting $100 million of his own funds into the campaign war chest. He spent $66 million of his own money during the 2016 campaign.