Hours into the government shutdown, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign released a hard-right ad accusing Democrats of being “complicit in all murders” committed by undocumented immigrants.
The 30-second video opens with footage of a recent courtroom outburst by Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported undocumented immigrant accused of killing two Sacramento-area deputies in 2014. The ad labels Bracamontes as “pure evil.”
“Now Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants,” the video’s narrator says. “President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe.”
A Republican familiar with the effort tells CNN that the video, titled “Complicit,” will only appear online – not on TV – for now.
In a statement, Michael Glassner, the executive director of Trump’s reelection campaign committee, said the ad was intended to highlight “the stark contrast between ‘complicit’ Democrats and the President for his full commitment to build a wall and fix our border to protect Americans from drugs, murder and other atrocities.”
Trump has seized on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants to push for a hardline immigration agenda in the past. The death of Kate Steinle, for which Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty in December, was a rallying cry for Trump on the campaign trail.
Although the ad does not explicitly mention the shutdown, it comes as congressional leaders from both parties try to reach a deal to fund the government and find a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Republicans and the White House maintain that they will not discuss DACA until the government reopens, while Democrats are resolute that they will not vote for a continuing resolution until there are talks on immigration.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.