An ad created by President Trump’s campaign committee tying together Democrats, a notorious murderer and a caravan of asylum-seeking migrants in Mexico embroiled NBC in controversy overnight, prompting the network to backpedal and pull it from the air.
Critics had denounced the ad as false and inflammatory, and CNN had refused to broadcast a longer version, calling it racist. But NBC put it up during the ratings giant “Sunday Night Football.”
“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” NBCUniversal said in a statement.
Even Fox News, which has made the caravan a staple of its midterm elections coverage, announced that it had decided on Sunday to stop running it, and Facebook removed the ad, which had been targeted at users in key electoral battlegrounds, like Florida and Arizona.
Mr. Trump, speaking to reporters on Monday before boarding Air Force One, said he was unaware of the controversy.
“You’re telling me something I don’t know about,” he said. “We have a lot of ads and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing.”
Mr. Trump also dismissed the complaints over the ad.
“A lot of things are offensive,” he said. “Your questions are offensive a lot of time, so, you know.”
The 30-second ad that aired on NBC was paid for by Donald J. Trump for President and stirred fear about a migrant caravan of asylum-seekers slowly making its way through Mexico that is still hundreds of miles from the United States border. It tied Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was convicted of murdering two Sacramento sheriff’s deputies in 2014, to the thousands of migrants who are fleeing Central America, even though Mr. Bracamontes is not known to have any association with the caravan.
“Dangerous illegal criminals like cop-killer Luis Bracamontes don’t care about our laws,” the ad said.