Trump Campaign Ad Uses Image of George Floyd Mourners to Tell Voters 'Stop Joe Biden and His Rioters'

In a new ad for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, bolded words flashing across the screen tell voters to "stop Joe Biden and his rioters" following an image of Biden posing with Black community leaders in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

The ad, which runs about one minute, depicts those whom the Trump campaign considers "Joe Biden's supporters." The word rioters is superimposed over supporters, suggesting a conflation of the two.

Meet Joe Biden's supporters

— Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) September 10, 2020

The ad is filled with images and video footage of burning buildings, crowds of protesters and tense encounters with law enforcement personnel. The imagery is spliced with several audio clips, featuring Biden saying that the "mass majority of the protests have been peaceful" and news anchors narrating reports of officers injured and people arrested during riots.

Most of the ad is set to intense music, like an action movie trailer, and culminates in what appears to be an explosion during one of the protests.

"You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America," Vice President Mike Pence says in an audio clip, which is played over an image of Biden kneeling in front of a group of community leaders at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

The picture was taken during a June 1 meeting meant to serve as a listening session, campaign speech and forum for members of Wilmington's Black community to speak with Biden, The New York Times said. The event occurred just days after the May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Floyd's death sparked a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and triggered protests across the U.S. and around the world. The presidential candidates' response to the nation's ongoing civil unrest has become a major focus of their campaigns, with Trump largely working to portray Biden as against law and order.

On Tuesday, Trump criticized an incident in which a group, reported to be BLM protesters, shouted at diners outside an establishment in Pittsburgh.

"BLM Protesters horribly harass elderly Pittsburgh diners, scaring them with loud taunts while taking their food right off their plate," the president tweeted. "These Anarchists, not protesters, are Biden voters, but he has no control and nothing to say. Disgraceful. Never seen anything like it. Thugs!"

After displaying the picture of Biden posing with the Black community leaders, the new Trump campaign ad ends with a direct message to voters: "Stop Joe Biden and his rioters.

The last two frames of a new Trump digital ad certainly send a message

— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) September 10, 2020

Asked if the Trump campaign's ad is likening these Black community leaders to the "rioters" and protesters depicted in other parts of the ad's imagery, campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager told Newsweek, "That's absurd, and it's shameful to even make the allegation."

Newsweek contacted the Biden campaign for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

This story has been updated to include a comment from the Trump campaign.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden speaks about the nation's social unrest at Philadelphia City Hall on June 2. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images/Getty