Another pro-Trump campaign ad caught using footage from Russia and Belarus

Gino Spocchia
·2 min read
America First Action ad attacking Joe Biden used stock footage from Russia and Belarus  (America First Action)
America First Action ad attacking Joe Biden used stock footage from Russia and Belarus (America First Action)

A new pro-Trump campaign ad that aired in three battleground states last week used footage from Russia and Belarus.

The America First Action advert, which launched last Thursday across Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, was first reported to have featured the stock footage by Politico.

The $10 million (£7.7 million) advertisement titled “Pandemic Tax” stars Russian and Belarussian actors, and attacks the Democratic presidential nominee’s alleged plans to raise taxes “on all of us”.

It is the fourth time in three months that an advert in support of Donald Trump’s reelection bid has used footage from Russia.

Politico connected a Shutterstock account which sold stock footage seen in America First Action’s advert, to the Facebook page of a Russian man named Konstantin Mikidov.

According to the Facebook page, his location was listed as the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, and has not returned comment.

The same user was also reported to have sold stock footage on a website called Pond5, where footage titled “Man And Woman Playing With Baby Near The Window”, can be bought for $65.

The same footage appears in the pro-Trump ad which aired last week, and warns that a Joe BIden win on 3 November would mean “HIGHER TAXES ON EVERY INCOME GROUP.”

Another scene from the advert which shows an older woman as viewers are told about “HIGHER TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS RETIREMENT”, can also be purchased online.

The footage, titled “Old Woman Looking Out The Window Stock Video,” can be bought for $60 on iStockphoto from a Belarussian user called “Zdyma4.”

An account with the same user name appears on LinkedIn and the stock footage website Dreamstime, where his account is named “Viachaslau Rutkouski”, Politico reported.

Kelly Sadler, an America First Action spokeswoman, told Politico that it had “also used video footage taken in China in multiple ads,” citing two videos in which Mr Biden visited China as vice-president.

An ad released by the Trump campaign last month has asked voters to “support our troops”, whilst using stock photo of Russian-made fighter jets and weapons.

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