The Latest: Trump campaign concedes Morocco footage in ad

World News

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest developments in the 2016 presidential campaign (all times EST):

3:40 p.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign says they intentionally used footage of Morocco in a television ad that touches on U.S. border security. The campaign said in a statement the images were “selected to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration.”

The campaign insists “the biased mainstream media doesn’t understand, but Americans who want to protect their jobs and their families do.”

The billionaire celebrity launched his campaign characterizing Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, and promising to build a wall “with a big, beautiful door,” to stop illegal immigration from Mexico.

2:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is opening her first campaign event of the year in Iowa by condemning congressional Republicans plans to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Democratic presidential candidate, in Davenport Monday, said that Republicans are “willing to turn their back on 19 million Americans” who have benefited from the law. She warned it would empower the insurance and drug industry.

The legislation will be considered in the House later this week and is expected to mark the first time a bill repealing the health care law reaches Obama’s desk. Obama will veto the measure, which would repeal the law and cut money for Planned Parenthood.

Clinton said Republicans have “no plan” of their own and only want to “undo what Democrats have fought for decades.”

She said if a Republican is in the White House, “it will be repealed and then you will have to start all over again.”

The longstanding fight over the so-called Obamacare law is expected to continue during January. GOP leaders in Congress are planning to hold a veto override vote later this month to coincide with events in Washington with anti-abortion activists.

1:30 p.m.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz say they are spending $1 million on television and radio advertisements that portray rival Marco Rubio as unserious — using fantasy football as a means for getting their message across. Left unsaid is that the Rubio footage included is a spoof made by the candidate himself.

The 30-second TV version of the ad opens with images of armed soldiers and a warning that the Islamic State terrorist group is “plotting to kill Americans.” It soon pivots to the question, “What would Marco Rubio’s leadership look like?” and shows him at a laptop computer and on a mobile phone. “Yeah, I know I have a debate, but I’ve got to get this fantasy football thing right, OK?” The ad concludes by saying “America can’t afford to gamble with its safety.”

The fantasy football clip is from Rubio’s own campaign. It was meant as comedy relief before the GOP debate in October. The campaign put the video on Youtube and included a link to sign up to support Rubio.

The anti-Rubio ad is paid for mostly by Robert Mercer, a New York hedge fund magnate who is contributing to a super political action committee that faces no campaign finance restrictions and has pledged support to Cruz.

Rubio’s aides dismissed the strategy, with his New Hampshire-based senior adviser Jim Merrill writing on Twitter that the ad is “redefining dumb.”

1:15 p.m.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is speaking out against armed protesters who have taken over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Cruz told reporters Monday before a campaign stop in Boone, Iowa, that he hopes the protesters will “stand down peaceably” with no violent confrontation “sooner rather than later.”

Cruz says that while everyone has a right to protest, “we don’t have a constitutional right to use force of violence or threaten force of violence on others.”

11:30 a.m.

Jeb Bush is hinting strongly that his closing argument to New Hampshire voters will be about U.S. military buildup specifically aimed at defeating the Islamic State group.

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