Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), top Republican in the House of Representatives, used Russian stock footage in a pro-Donald Trump video he posted to his Twitter account on Monday.
According to The Hill, “McCarthy released the ad on Twitter defending the president amid the impeachment inquiry and as the 2020 election approaches. But one of the clips in the ad was discovered to be stock footage from Russia.”
The video via Rep. McCarthy’s Twitter account:
What if I told you…
⇒ He won the election.
⇒ He spoke for millions who didn’t have a voice.
⇒ Despite their obstruction, he is still getting things done for the American people. pic.twitter.com/ZuVq1Jl9RG
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 25, 2019
CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski was first to uncover the fact that the House minority leader was using Russian stock footage for the campaign ad.
A little on the nose the stock footage used here was Russian. pic.twitter.com/FYhgdF3DvL
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) November 25, 2019
It probably goes without saying that if Republicans want to create an ad defending Trump in a scandal that has only further emboldened the Kremlin, they probably don’t want to use Russian video footage.
Republicans are already using Russian talking points
Perhaps a GOP leader using Russian video footage in a campaign ad might be surprising in the Republican Party of yesteryear. In 2019, though, it makes complete sense for a party that supports Vladimir Putin’s hand-picked president.
After all, this is the party that has stood by silently as Trump repeatedly throws the American intelligence community under the bus instead of placing the blame for 2016 election interference where it belongs – on Russia.
During the public impeachment hearings over the past several weeks, GOP lawmakers have repeatedly spewed Russian talking points and accused Ukraine of meddling in the last presidential election – another development that has pleased the Kremlin.
Republicans will certainly claim that it was a mistake to include Russian video footage in one of their campaign ads, but it’s actually completely on-brand for the modern GOP.