But reporters and fact-checkers soon noticed that footage purported to be of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border was actually of people in Morocco.
PolitiFact promptly gave the ad its "Pants on Fire" rating, one of many such ratings it has given the 2016 GOP presidential candidate. It noted that the footage originally aired in 2014 on an Italian news network reporting on migrants crossing the border between Morocco and Spain.
The footage was reposted online in 2015 as "1,000s of immigrants try to cross the border at once," without noting the location, which may be how the Trump campaign selected it for the ad.
Yet the campaign did not back down from the ad, calling the mistake "1,000% on purpose."
Like many of Trump's claims, the premise of the ad, which suggests a massive wave of border crossings, is inaccurate. According to federal immigration officials, the number of undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border has dropped steadily each year, from 1.6 million in 2000 to just under 487,000 in 2014.
As usual, the businessman's factual errors won't hurt his campaign. In fact, the campaign's response will likely drive even more attention to Trump, as cable news networks raced to air the ad as soon as it was unveiled on Monday.
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