Donald Trump’s first TV ad touts Muslim ban [video]

Donald Trump is taking to the television airwaves, and his first advert prominently features his controversial call for temporarily halting the entry of all Muslim into the US and a border wall “paid for by Mexico”.

The 30-second spot is narrated by a stern-sounding male voice and features grainy images of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The advert also includes photos of the San Bernardino attackers, so-called Islamic State militants, a US warship firing cruise missiles, exploding buildings and undated footage of migrants purportedly crossing the US-Mexican border.

The commercial concludes with Mr Trump offering his trademark call to “make America great again”, delivered before a cheering crowd.

It wouldn’t be Trump without some measure of controversy, of course. The fact-checking website Politifact says the border video is actually from Morocco – and the Trump campaign has since said the use of the footage was intentional and that it was what the US border could eventually look like if it is not adequately secured.

Up until now, Mr Trump has maintained his position at the top of presidential preference polls thanks to his seemingly unique appeal to a blue-collar segment of the Republican electorate, buttressed by near-nonstop news media coverage of his non-traditional campaign and his often controversial comments.

Mr Trump, in a news release announcing the advert, said that his campaign is currently $35 million (£24 million) “under budget”. He added that he wasn’t sure he needed to spend money on television commercials, but “I don’t want to take any chances”.

While Mr Trump spent about $300,000 on three radio adverts last fall, the release says his new television campaign will cost about $2 million (£1.4 million) a week in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.