Trump, NRA Apparently Coordinated Their Ad Campaigns During 2016 Election: Report

The National Rifle Association coordinated with the Trump campaign to buy similar TV ads during the 2016 campaign in an arrangement experts say likely violated campaign-finance laws, The Trace and Mother Jones report. Documents cited by The Trace are said to show that the NRA and the Trump campaign used the same person to handle their separate media campaigns—but they allegedly tried to cover their tracks by listing two separate media strategy firms. The NRA reported said in filings with the Federal Communications Commission that it turned to Red Eagle Media to purchase dozens of “anti-Hillary” and “pro-Trump” ad slots on local news stations in the run-up to the presidential election. The Trump campaign reportedly used a very similar advertising strategy that it said was handled by American Media & Advocacy Group (AMAG). According to The Trace, however, “Red Eagle Media” is really an "assumed or fictitious name" used by National Media, a company affiliated with AMAG. A lawyer for AMAG confirmed to The Daily Beast in 2016 that the two entities are linked. The Trace reports that both Red Eagle and AMAG’s ad buys were both authorized by Jon Ferrell, the chief financial officer for National Media Research, Planning and Placement. Red Eagle, AMAG, and National Media reportedly all list the same addresses of “815 Slaters Lane or 817 Slaters Lane” in corporate, Federal Election Commission, and FCC records. “This is very strong evidence, if not proof, of illegal coordination,” Larry Noble, a former general counsel for the FEC, told The Trace. “This is the heat of the general election, and the same person is acting as an agent for the NRA and the Trump campaign.”