One day after Republican Donald Trump’s campaign manager said using footage of Morocco in an ad about the U.S. border with Mexico was “1,000 percent on purpose,” the billionaire’s lawyer called the move a “mistake.”
Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said on CNN Tuesday there’s “no doubt” someone made a mistake, but the message behind the Republican’s first TV ad still stands.
“I think the point is well taken that we have 2,000 miles of open border at the southern border and, well, whoever the person is I’m sure I’ll be sending them a letter very soon on behalf of Mr. Trump, but the bottom line is it’s the same thing,” Cohen told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “The point is that they’re coming through.”
He went on: “Yeah, I’m going to have a conversation with whoever made the mistake – there’s no doubt about that – but the truth is people are pouring through our borders which are open.”
Cohen later walked back the remarks in an email to The Washington Post, saying he does not speak for Trump or the campaign.
“I wasn’t aware of the question as stated, knew little about the ad or campaign strategy,” he said.
After Politifact traced the footage of dozens of people running across the border to an Italian network’s video of Moroccans pouring into a Spanish enclave in North Africa, Trump’s campaign maintained the choice was intentional.
“No shit it’s not the Mexican border but that’s what our country is going to look like. This was 1,000 percent on purpose,” Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, said to NBC News.
This story has been updated.