This Fake Donald Trump Quote Has Been Retweeted More Than 15,000 Times

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October 16, 2015 1:06 p.m.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s online presence is just as outlandish and generally off-color as his in real life persona – so maybe that’s why people keep falling for fake tweets attributed to the ex-reality TV star.

On Thursday, Twitter user @Rivermansky63, who describes himself as a “musician, fascinated by politics + a lover of travel” from South Wales, and who has about 2,100 followers, posted an image that appeared to show a tweet from Trump’s verified Twitter account.

The “Trump” tweet criticized Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and said “my ancestors didn’t make their way to this great country to have immigrants come in and take their jobs!!!”

@Rivermansky63’s tweet quickly went viral. By Friday morning, it had received almost 11,000 retweets and more than 7,000 favorites.


The tweet sounded believably par for the course from a candidate who launched his 2016 campaign calling Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. “rapists” and drug runners.

There was just one problem – it was fake.

Trump never tweeted the remark, and @Rivermansky63 eventually explained over and over again to his followers that the “Trump” tweet was fake. It’s unclear, however, where the fake image originated.

Still, the fake Trump tweet tricked more than just @Rivermansky63 and faceless egg accounts.

The Nation’s national affairs correspondent Joan Walsh and musician Neko Case were among those who retweeted the fake “ancestors” tweet.

Case later tweeted she was “sure it’s fake.”

On Friday, CJ Werleman, whose Twitter identifies him as an “Op-Ed Columnist for Middle East Eye” and boasts some 31,000 followers, gave the fake tweet another viral moment on Thursday with more than 4,300 retweets. Markos Moutlitsas, founder of the Daily Kos, retweeted Werleman’s message to his 131,000 followers.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened during Trump’s campaign.

Twitter user Jared Oban, a self-described “Internet Overloard,” told TPM he created the original fake Trump tweet, pointing to an image he posted on Oct. 13, a day before @Rivermansky63’s tweet went viral. He also said others on the web had stolen his “work.”

In August, Newsweek reporter Zach Schonfeld found out how hard the Internet will fall for a diss attributed to the Republican. Schonfeld wrote an article for Vice detailing how he used a site that generates fake tweets to create one in which Trump appeared to call the legendary indie rock band Pavement “total clowns!!”

The fake tweet incited angry Pavement fans, got aggregated by music news sites, and generally played perfectly into the narrative that Trump doesn’t shy away from sharing what’s on his mind.

Countless journalists have also taken tweets from Twitter user @realDonaldTrunp for the real thing. The account has garnered 21,200 followers with just over 100 tweets parodying the GOP frontrunner.

This story has been updated.

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