The anti-Trump Lincoln Project was forced to delete a viral tweet that falsely claimed President Trump “relished” in a convention supporter calling former President Barack Obama a “monkey,” while the video clearly shows the term was not used.
“When President Trump mentioned Obama, someone from the crowd shouted, “Monkey!” and the president relished in it. Disgusting,” the Lincoln Project tweeted, tagging Republican senator Thom Tillis, who is up for reelection.
But footage of the clip in question, during which Trump claims Democrats “are trying to steal the election,” clearly shows an onlooker yelling “Spygate” — a reference to the president’s allegations that the Obama administration spied on his 2016 campaign.
Twitter explodes claiming Trump laughs after an audience member yells "monkey" at the mention of Obama. Others think the man yelled "Spygate"
Another attendee shouts "Sleepy Joe" and the President says "let's be nice. Biden."
We report, you decide! pic.twitter.com/XXGgIRGmdw
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 24, 2020
The tweet was apparently stolen — the Lincoln Project has been called out repeatedly for copying content from other users — from a different account, which deleted the tweet after being corrected by journalist Aaron Rupar, who regularly covers Trump’s speeches.
I don't think this is right. I went back and re-listened. The man yells "spygate!" and then someone in the crowd says, "Sleepy Joe!" That latter remark is the one Trump joked about. https://t.co/mzVr92MBo8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 24, 2020
But others immediately jumped on the false claim. “This should be headlined news,” Mehdi Hasan tweeted. Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart compared the situation to Trump’s “very fine people” comments in 2017 about the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va.
While other journalists also attempted to correct the narrative, some did not. CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid wondered aloud if “Trump may have heard something different.”
My producer and I listened to the original audio with headphones on and it actually sounds like this person is yelling “spygate” but that’s doesn’t explain why Trump stopped, told him to be nice & made a joke about NC. Seems like Trump may have heard something different …. https://t.co/YRXWaKACAE
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) August 24, 2020