During the 2020 Republican National Convention, the Republican Party aired a series of pre-recorded videos that included stock footage shot in Russia, Ukraine, and other countries to promote their chosen candidate for President of the United States, Donald Trump.

On August 27th, the final night of the convention, the RNC aired a 4:30 video titled “Donald J. Trump.” The video included stock footage from Estonia, stock footage of a farm in Ukraine, and controversial footage from 2016 of a Philadelphia-area store whose owner said she was “misled” when her small business appeared in a Trump ad. The background showing the name of the business was blurred out in the 2020 RNC but the shot was identical to the one used in 2016.

On August 25th, another video showcased a factory in Moscow and a Ukrainian company despite the Trump campaign’s countless claims to champion American manufacturing.

On previous nights of this year’s RNC, other foreign stock footage was used to promote policies around domestic manufacturing, the American worker, and trade.

And on the first night of the convention, August 24th, a video titled “America” included two stock footage clips originally recorded in Thailand and another paired video of protests in Spain with a dire warning about the consequences of a Joe Biden presidency.

In addition to using foreign footage, the Republican Party also used footage of a group of new citizens at their naturalization ceremony and members of a New York City tenants group at the RNC without telling them that they would be used at the RNC.

As the deadly coronavirus and ensuing economic fallout continue ravaging the United States, the Trump campaign and the Republican Party used their national convention to air footage of other countries to promote their policy agenda. Trump is up for reelection in November.

Contact Chai Karve at ckarve@americanbridge.org