The New York Times on Monday reported that President Trump’s re-election campaign flooded Facebook with thousands of ads pushing the idea of an “invasion” at the southern border, amplifying the fear-inducing language about immigrants that he has repeatedly touted at campaign rallies and on Twitter.
Since January, the president’s re-election campaign has posted more than 2,000 ads on Facebook that include the word “invasion,” all part “of a barrage of advertising focused on immigration, a dominant theme of his re-election messaging,” the Times reports.
A review of Trump’s tweets also found repeated references to an “invasion.”
Trump’s “invasion” narrative has come under intense scrutiny after the suspect in a mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday that left 22 people dead, appeared to be the author of an anti-immigrant essay declaring that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The Times reports:
Divisive and often false claims about undocumented immigrants have been a cornerstone of Mr. Trump’s political strategy for years, from the “build the wall” chants at his 2016 campaign rallies to his warnings about a migrant caravan ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
In his re-election campaign, Mr. Trump has spent an estimated $1.25 million on Facebook ads about immigration since late March, according to data from Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic communications firm that is tracking the digital advertising of presidential candidates. Those ads represent a significant portion of the roughly $5.6 million that Mr. Trump has spent on Facebook advertising during that period.
Most of the “invasion” ads began running between January and March. Many of the ads began with a blunt warning — “We have an INVASION!” — and went on to say, “It’s CRITICAL that we STOP THE INVASION.”