US President Donald Trump’s fundraising division for his reelection campaign reportedly released a digital advertisement on 11 September urging support for the country’s troops… but used a stock image of Russian jets and models dressed as soldiers.
Politico reports that the creator of the image, a Russian based nonprofessional photographer, Arthur Zakirov, confirmed that the picture used in the digital advertisement shows a 3D model of the Russian made MiG-29 fighter jet and that the models dressed as soldiers were Russian.
Zakirov told the publication that he was amused that the picture was used in a Trump fundraising advertisement.
It was reported that the advertisement, which was created by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, ran from 8 September to 12 September.
Experts confirmed with the publication that the jets in the stock image are MiG-29s, with one pointing out that the soldier in the far right of the photograph is carrying an AK-74, which is Russian made.
Literally the smoking gun of Russian influence? Perhaps not but it is still pretty darn funny to use Migs and a guy holding an AK to salute “our” troops. https://t.co/QktaTB3FsK
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) September 15, 2020
The publication reported that no response was forthcoming from the Trump campaign following a request for comment, with the Republican National Committee declining to comment.
A Freudian slip of gargantuan proportions, oops. Russian models with Russian MIGs in a Trump ad?, You bet. https://t.co/k6pRuYFDV2
— Cctenpro (@Cctenpro1) September 15, 2020
It was reported that the image, titled “Military silhouettes of soldiers and airforce against the backdrop of sunset sky”, is available on Shutterstock.
A digital ad released by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee on Sept. 11 calling on people to “support our troops” uses a stock photo of Russian-made fighter jets and weaponshttps://t.co/DfwfTWNKQo
— POLITICO (@politico) September 15, 2020
The publication reported that last year, a tweet by Republican Brian Mast wishing a happy birthday to the US Navy featuring an image of a Russian battlecruiser was later taken down by his office.