A new Trump campaign ad released amid the Trump administration’s deployment of federal troops to quell protests in Portland, Oregon misleadingly featured an image of pro-democracy protests in Ukraine taken in 2014.
Alongside a photo of the President appearing next to law enforcement officers, the Facebook ad also features a photo of a group of protesters appearing to attack a police officer on the ground.
“Public safety vs chaos & violence,” the text below the photo reads.
The photo in the ad, however, was from civil unrest in Ukraine in 2014 that ultimately resulted in the ousting of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Its file on Wikimedia Commons shows the image with the caption: “A police officer attacked by protesters during clashes in Ukraine, Kyiv. Events of February 18, 2014.”
Former Hillary Clinton spokesperson Jesse Lehrich first highlighted the discrepancy in a Tuesday night tweet.
a new Trump ad warning of chaos & violence depicts a cop being attacked by protesters…
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) July 22, 2020
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
The ad published Tuesday appeared to be marketed toward evangelical Trump supporters and bolsters the President’s assertion last month that he is the president of “law and order” as protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death roiled the country.
The President has railed against ongoing protests in Portland against racial inequality and police brutality. His administration deployed federal police officers to quell unrest in the city despite local officials arguing against the aggressive show of force, which has included the use of tear gas and non-lethal munitions against peaceful protesters.
Last week, anonymous federal forces occupying Portland snatched protesters off the street and shoved them into unmarked cars in addition to beating peaceful demonstrators and using tear gas on them.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied any “secretive operations” happening in Portland despite unidentified federal law enforcement prowling city streets.
McEnany’s remarks came a day after six big city mayors issued a letter to the Trump administration and Congress opposing the unsolicited deployment of federal forces in their cities, arguing that the move is political and reminiscent of authoritarian regimes.