Whoops! That Trump "First 100 Days" Ad May Have Broken a Big Rule

Yesterday, we talked about the Trump re-election campaign’s early start to 2020 with an ad touting Donald Trump’s “first 100 days.” You can read the full analysis here.


However, there is some speculation that the ad may have violated the law/Defense Department rules – speculation that only increased when the campaign quietly removed the ad Monday afternoon.

Toward the end of the ad, H.R. McMaster appears in the ad, shaking Trump’s hand. The Daily Beast points out that this isn’t good.

The 30-second video, which promoted the Trump administration’s accomplishments during its first 100 days, featured b-roll of the president shaking hands with his National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, just after he accepted the job at Mar-a-Lago.

McMaster was wearing his Army uniform in the clip, and that may have violated the spirit if not the letter of Defense Department rules barring active-duty members of the military from participating in political advocacy in uniform.

By Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign had removed the ad and replaced it with a new version that did not include the McMaster clip. A campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the video.


It’s unclear who might’ve recognized the problem and informed the campaign.

It was definitely a “Whoops!” moment for the campaign, which is looking to combat low approval ratings, near-constant protest marches, and a hostile media. However, there will probably be some people trying to make way more political hay out of this than is really necessary.

The inclusion of McMaster seems to have been a mistake of someone looking through some b-roll footage for an ad and found Trump shaking hands with someone he was working with. The image it presents is that he is working with people to get the job done. Whoever edited the ad and whoever approved it are ignorant of the rules involved or just made a mistake.


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