NEW YORK, NY— NBC, Fox News Channel and Facebook have pulled a Trump campaign TV ad in which a cop-killing death row inmate from Mexico can be seen promising to break out of prison and kill again. NBC and Fox News announced Monday they would no longer air the ad, which shows Luis Bracamontes deliver an expletive-laden tirade about how he had no regrets for killing two sheriff’s deputies in 2014.
President Donald Trump tweeted out the ad on Halloween in an apparent attempt to tie Bracamontes to the caravan of migrants traveling through Central America for the border. The ad, which ran days ahead of the midterm elections, shows hundreds of marching migrants right after footage of Bracamontes saying he “killed (expletive) cops” and had no regrets.
“I will break out soon and I will kill more,” he says.
The ad falsely claimed that Democrats let Bracamontes enter the U.S. and remain there. The 30-second ad, paid for by the group Donald J. Trump for President, ran during NBC’s highly-watched show “Sunday Night Football,” according to The New York Times. It also ran during MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
CNN had rejected the same ad, deeming it racist.
“CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts,” the media giant tweeted in response to criticism from Donald Trump Jr.
On Monday, amid national outcry and backlash on social media, NBC did an about-face.
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“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBC Universal said in a statement to The Times.
Fox News said it came to a similar conclusion Sunday.
“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, the network’s president of ad sales, told The Times in a statement Monday.
Facebook on Monday said it, too, would remove the ad because it violated the social media giant’s ad policy banning “sensational content.”
However, users can still share it on their own pages.
As for Trump, he told reporters Monday he didn’t know it had sparked an outcry.
“We have a lot of ads,” Trump said when asked about the controversy. “They certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing.”
Trump also brushed off criticism that the ad was offensive. “A lot of things are offensive,” he said. “Your questions are offensive.”
The caravan, filled with thousands of migrants from Central America, has been a popular target in recent weeks for Trump and Republican allies. According to BBC, the caravan started on Oct. 12 with a group of about 160 people gathering in crime-plagued San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The group decided to march out of the country in hopes of leaving behind unemployment and violence. The caravan rapidly grew in size once a former politician posted on Facebook about the caravan’s plan to head to America. Within a a day, the group had swelled to more than 1,000.
On Sunday, about 400 men and boys who were moving faster than the main group reached Mexico City.
Photo credit: Mark Humphrey/Associated Press