The same footage is available on Shutterstock by a user of the same name, whose profile links to the Facebook page of Konstantin Mikidov, which lists his location as the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia. He didn’t respond to requests for comment sent through his Pond5 and Facebook accounts.
Two seconds later in the ad, an elderly woman is seen staring out a window as the phrase “HIGHER TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS RETIREMENT” appears on the screen. That footage, labeled “Old Woman Looking Out The Window Stock Video,” is marketed for $60 on iStockphoto. The other terms that footage also comes with on that website are: “Belarus, Senior Adult, Depression – Sadness, Sadness, Loneliness.”
The creator of that footage is “Zdyma4.” A user by that name has a profile on stock footage website Dreamstime and lists the name “Viachaslau Rutkouski.” Rutkouski has a LinkedIn profile that says he is a photographer in Belarus and also uses Zdyma4 as a pseudonym. He didn’t respond to a request for comment.
America First Action is chaired by Linda McMahon, the former head of the Small Business Administration and the co-founder of the professional wrestling company WWE with her husband Vince McMahon. As of Aug. 31, the group had raised $82 million for the 2020 cycle.
“We also used video footage taken in China in multiple ads,” said Kelly Sadler, a spokesperson for America First, when asked for comment. She offered links to an Obama White House video of Biden speaking on U.S.-China relations at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, when he was vice president in Aug. 2011, and an America First ad that includes footage of Biden in China.