If four years of dodging unsubstantiated accusations of colluding with Russia were not enough for President Donald Trump, his campaign managed to add oil to the fire by making a military-themed snafu in its digital ad, which was active between 8 and 12 September. The ad, paid for by Trump's Make America Great Again Committee, called on citizens to support American troops, but oddly enough featured what looked like Russian MiG-29 fighter jets and at least one soldier armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
The image used in the ad was apparently taken from a stock photos database, Shutterstock, which did not explicitly state the type of jets and weapons used in the picture, although it did contain a number of hashtags written in Russian.
The silhouette of the jets is darkened, but they still do not indicate the presence of the distinctive air intakes seen on most American fighter jets, while featuring a tail wing similar to those seen on Russian MiG-29s. In addition, one of three soldiers seen in the picture is holding a gun with a gas block similar to those used in AK series rifles, as well as a front sight unlike any utilised in America's arsenals. At the same time, one of the soldiers, who is present in the original stock image but was cut off from the Trump campaign's ad, is holding a rifle with a front sight typical of Kalashnikov assault rifles.
Neither the Trump campaign, nor the Republican National Committee, who both sponsor the Make America Great Again Committee, have officially commented on the gaffe in the ad so far.
Ironically enough, the MiG-29 fighter jet, purportedly present in the image, was developed back in the 1970s in the Soviet Union as a response to the American F-15 and F-16 jets. The US Air Force at some point procured several units, but only used them in its war games as a hypothetical enemy. These fighters are also used by another NATO member, Poland, to this day; Warsaw had at least 31 operational jets as of 2017.