In his first-ever television ad as a presidential candidate, released on Monday (Jan. 4), Donald Trump claims that he’ll “stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
While the voice-over makes these statements about Mexico, there’s an aerial shot of dozens of people rushing across a border — a scene anyone watching would logically assume is footage of the border currently being discussed. But it isn’t. The footage is from Morocco. Which is not Mexico.
PolitiFact traced the scene to a 2014 news report from an Italian TV network, which featured footage of Moroccans crossing the border into the Spanish-held territory of Melilla. As such, PolitiFact gave Trump’s ad a “Pants on Fire” rating on their “Truth-O-Meter.”
PolitiFact also reports that the video later reappeared in July of 2015 in a YouTube post titled “1,000s of immigrants try to cross the border at once,” which makes no reference to the location.
Trump’s campaign responded to PolitiFact’s revelation with a statement in which they claim this was all intentional, and just intended to show what the U.S.-Mexico border could look like if we’re not careful.
A Trump campaign manager summed up their explanation in a conversation with NBC: “Asked about the video, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told NBC News, ‘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.’”
PolitiFact has since responded by concluding, “The ad makes no such clarification, and we believe that most viewers — in the context of the ad and Trump’s past statements — would conclude that it shows the U.S.-Mexico border, not a border in Africa. Our rating of Pants on Fire stands.”