An organization supporting Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign used location data to send misleading ads to people who attended campaign events for Nikki Haley’s nascent presidential run.
The ads, spotted by FWIW News, falsely stated that Haley is supporting Trump’s campaign for reelection. One example featured a photoshopped image of Haley wearing a Make America Great Again hat, and said “Nikki Haley is backing Trump in 2024. Are You?” The ads used location data to target people who were in the 50323 zip code on Monday, the site of Haley’s first visit to Iowa since announcing her candidacy. She is not, in fact, backing her old boss.
The PAC that bought the ads, the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, works in conjunction with Trump’s principal campaign committee, according to Federal Election Commission records. The two share a treasurer.
The ads were seen more than 20,000 times by people in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and were primarily targeted at women over the age of 45, according to Google and Facebook’s databases of political ads.
Haley, an ex-US ambassador to the United Nations, is the first Republican to officially announce she’s challenging Trump’s bid for the 2024 nomination. “President Trump is my friend. I think he was the right president at the right time,” she said at her event in Iowa Monday. “But as dire of a situation as this is, as much as all the media and everybody wants to talk about the past, we need to leave the status quo in the past. We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to look forward.”
The campaigns for Nikki Haley and Donald Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The ads first appeared in South Carolina last Thursday, where Haley, the former South Carolina Governor, unveiled her campaign. The ad then followed her and her supporters as she visited New Hampshire and Iowa.
A total of 15 ads targeting Haley voters with misinformation were paid for by the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, which has reported nearly $152 million of campaign contributions so far. According to Google and Facebook, each individual ad cost just hundreds of dollars.