Did you spot the difference? A shot of H.R. McMaster, Trump’s pick to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, was removed, replaced with a shot of Trump shaking the hand of a factory worker.
The issue appears to be that McMaster, who at the time of his appointment by Trump was a lieutenant general in the Army, appeared in the ad in uniform. The military has specific rules about how members of the military appear in campaign materials. Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center noted that problem on Twitter.
For Trump, the issue runs a bit broader. He’s been criticized in the past for his embrace of militaristic imagery, including seeking military vehicles for inclusion in his inaugural parade. Having McMaster appear in uniform without identifying him as Trump’s national security adviser only conveys a Trump-military impression, rather than expressing anything about McMaster personally. The avoidance of any appearance of political endorsement by the military is, of course, why the Pentagon’s policy exists.
For what it’s worth, the new imagery in the ad isn’t going to do Trump any harm. His best marks are consistently on handling the economy; showing him with a factory worker is probably more useful than showing him with a general.
Of course, we’re still more than three years from the actual election. Who knows what will be important in campaign ads by the time the actual campaign rolls around?