On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted out a video. He gave no explanation of what it was or where it came from — just an exhortation to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The video was odd — it opened with footage of various Washington landmarks interspersed with clips of Barack Obama and Hillary and Bill Clinton. Then came clips of Trump visiting a factory, Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, and clips of actors Rosie O’Donnell, Bryan Cranston and Amy Schumer, mixed in with shots of Trump at campaign rallies.
As a dramatic score played, words appeared on the screen: “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they call you racist. Donald J. Trump. Your vote. Proved them all wrong. Trump: The Great Victory 2020.”
Just a few hours later, the video was taken down from YouTube.
At issue was that dramatic score: It is music composed by Hans Zimmer for the soundtrack to the Warner Bros. 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.
In a statement, Warner Bros. said that the video’s use of its music was unauthorized: “We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”
Trump later deleted the tweet. As of Wednesday afternoon, near-copies of the video were still on YouTube.
The video was apparently not created by the Trump campaign but rather by a fan. “The video was made by a supporter,” a campaign aide told CNN. “We like to share content from diehard supporters, and this is just another example of how hard Trump supporters fight for the President.”
The video was posted to a pro-Trump Reddit channel last week. The account that posted the video to the r/The_Donald subreddit wrote Tuesday that the video was made a couple of weeks ago, and its creator was shocked and delighted when Trump shared it.
“I’m honored,” the person wrote. “My dad has [Trump’s] tweet printed so I can frame it.”
Artists including Neil Young, Pharrell Williams and the estate of Prince have all previously demanded that the Trump campaign stop playing their music, complaining that their songs had been used without permission.
NPR’s Brandon Carter contributed to this report.