Trump Calls Use of Morocco Border Footage in Ad About Mexico 'Irrelevant'

The Trump campaign defended using Moroccan border footage in their first TV ad.

ByABC News
January 4, 2016, 6:52 PM

— -- Both Donald Trump and his campaign are defending their use of footage of the border between Morocco and Spain in an ad that touts Trump’s hardline stance on illegal immigration into the United States.

“I think it’s irrelevant,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Monday night. “It's really merely a display of what a dumping ground is going to look like. And that's what our country is becoming very rapidly.”

The 30-second television, ad unveiled Monday, shows footage of dozens of people fleeing across what appears to be a national border, as the narrator says, "He'll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for."

Despite the narration, the footage is not of the “southern border” between the United States and Mexico, but rather the border of Morocco and Spain, according to PolitiFact, a fact-checking project operated by the Tampa Bay Times.

PolitiFact traced the footage to a video released by the Spanish Interior Ministry that was used in a 2014 Italian TV segment. The earliest appearance of the video appears to be on the website of an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, in May 2014. The video’s time stamp is dated May 1, 2014.

According to the video’s description, the footage features the “onslaught of hundreds of migrants to the wall that separates the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco.”

The Trump campaign issued a statement Monday afternoon, before the candidate appeared on Fox News, asserting that the use of the video clip was "intentional" to show what the United States could become without Trump's policies. The campaign added that the footage was "selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration."

ABC News reached out to the Spanish Interior Ministry for comment.

ABC News’ John Santucci, Alana Abramson and Ryan Struyk contributed to this report.