Illustration for article titled Trump Runs Facebook Ads in Spanish Despite Saying This is a Country Where We Speak English, Not Spanish
Screenshot: Facebook/Trump

Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is currently running Facebook ads in Spanish, a decision that’s perhaps a little strange coming from a president who’s previously criticized others for speaking the language in the United States.

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“¡RESERVA TU ENTRADA YA! Lanzamiento de Evangélicos por Trump en Miami!” one of the new Facebook ads reads, imploring people to sign up for tickets to an event called “Evangelicals For Trump” in Miami, Florida on January 3.

President Trump, a noted white supremacist, has previously insisted that the U.S. is a country where people need to speak English, despite the fact that there is no official language. Trump even deleted the Spanish-language version of the White House’s website as one of his first acts as president.

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“We have a country where, to assimilate, you have to speak English,” Trump said in 2015, criticizing his rival Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish. “We have to have assimilation. To have a country, we have to have assimilation.”

“This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish,” Trump continued.

Trump repeated this line again and again in 2016, saying that people need to speak English in the U.S. in order to “become successful and do great.”

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But it makes sense that Trump might try to win over Spanish speakers in the U.S., given how many people speak the language. Over 40 million U.S. residents—roughly 13% of U.S. residents—speak Spanish at home.

The latest Spanish-language ads are available on Facebook’s Ad Library, an archive of political ads on the network. And there are quite a few variations of the ads currently running.

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Illustration for article titled Trump Runs Facebook Ads in Spanish Despite Saying This is a Country Where We Speak English, Not Spanish
Screenshot: Facebook Ad Library

Trump’s official 2020 reelection campaign has dabbled in Spanish language messaging online, especially when it bought one of Joe Biden’s Spanish-language web domains to troll him. But the Facebook ads in Spanish never seem to include the president’s most racist messages, including his calls to “deport illegals.”

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Trump’s rally on January 3 is an effort to galvanize the evangelical community, one of the president’s strongest bases of support. But that base has shown signs of cracking as some deeply religious people slowly wake up to the fact that Trump is antithetical to virtually everything the Bible teaches.

From a recent controversial editorial by Christianity Today:

He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

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Yet Trump is still wildly popular among white evangelicals, with 80 percent of them voting for Trump in 2016 against his rival Hillary Clinton. And that support hasn’t gone away, despite the truly horrific things he’s gotten away with. A whopping 77 percent of white evangelicals support the job that President Trump is currently doing, according to the latest polls.

While Trump has been critical of social media platforms like Facebook for being against him, the president’s team insists that Facebook was vital for Trump’s 2016 presidential win. And the company, which is cozy with both Trump and Trump advisors like Peter Thiel, will be vital to the president’s reelection.

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Trump has already done some pretty shady shit during this campaign cycle, whether it’s using stock video models and pretending that they’re real supporters, running Facebook ads with racial slurs, or stealing music from independent artists. Trump recently ran some of the most fascists ads of his entire campaign, insisting that democracy and freedom itself were under attack from Democrats.

But we still have plenty of time for Trump to do even more horrific things as he chips away at American-style democracy. The U.S. has seen the deaths of at least 6 migrant children in U.S. custody since President Trump took office, with many more adults dying in American concentration camps. And with Democrats largely ignoring the issue, a lot more people are going to die from Trump’s racist policies before this is all over.

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Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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