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CLOSING ARGUMENTS

Trump’s home stretch: more lies about immigration and a dash of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory language

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Iowa.
Reuters/Carlo Allegri
The final stretch.
By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump is wrapping up his campaign for US president with the same controversial message he started it with: the immigrants are coming.

The Republican nominee’s latest advertisement shows thousands of people walking along a highway, while the candidate slams the “political establishment” for “massive illegal immigration.” The advertisement echoes the same message Trump delivered in kicking off his US presidential run, when he promised to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” along the US-Mexico border.

But at the 37-second mark, the ad shows a gathering of migrants who weren’t anywhere near the US. The footage was in fact filmed in Hungary last year, when Europe’s migrant crisis reached a new peak.

The clip, taken by Nabih Bulos, then a foreign correspondent working for the New York Times, showed the so-called migrant march. Fed up and stranded at the Keleti train station outside Budapest, thousands of migrants stormed off and took to the highway, in a desperate bid to get to Austria and then Germany. Bulos confirmed to The Intercept that Donald Trump did not have permission to use the footage.

This isn’t the first time the Trump campaign has misappropriated images of migrants. In his first advertisement, Trump promised to bring an end to illegal immigration by building a huge wall on the Mexican border, paid for by Mexico, while showcasing footage of migrants trying to overcome a border fence. The footage used was not a confrontation at the US-Mexico border, but at the Spanish enclave Melilla in 2014, where migrants clashed at Europe’s only land border with Africa.

In his latest advertisement, Trump added a subtle dose of anti-Semitism to his anti-immigrant message. While railing against the political establishment, Trump uses images including the Federal Reserve seal and the iconic Wall Street street sign. “The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake,” Trump narrates. “For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests—they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind.”

The ”these people” he references include Fed chair Janet Yellen, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, all of whom are pictured in the ad, and all of whom are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League slammed the advertisement for using “images” and “rhetoric” long-utilized by anti-Semites.

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