No, Trump’s sister didn’t publicly again him. He was duped by a faux account.
On Friday morning, President Trump shared a seemingly innocuous article on Twitter. The piece stated that his sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau, had publicly voiced her assist for her brother amid his baseless claims that he gained the 2020 election.
“Thanks Elizabeth,” Mr. Trump wrote to his sister, who has lengthy averted the highlight. “LOVE!”
There was only one downside: Ms. Trump Grau had not stated what the article claimed. Actually, the article Mr. Trump shared was primarily based on a faux Twitter account that posed as his sister.
That article, on the web site of a conservative talk-radio host named Wayne Dupree, quoted a put up from a Twitter account named “Betty Trump” that used a photograph of Ms. Trump Grau as its profile image.
“This election impressed me to interrupt my silence and communicate out on behalf of my household,” the account stated in a put up on Wednesday. “My brother Don gained this election and can struggle this to the very finish. We’ve at all times been a household of fighters.”
The article on Mr. Dupree’s web site known as the feedback “so highly effective” and stated they confirmed how “our president actually does have such an incredible household.”
Had the article’s writer appeared extra carefully, although, she would have observed some suspicious particulars in regards to the account. It was a day previous. The images it used of Ms. Trump Grau were taken from Getty Pictures and previous information articles about her. And since that first put up, the account had tweeted increasingly bizarre messages, sharply criticizing Democrats, journalists and Republicans who had questioned the false declare that Mr. Trump was re-elected.
“If somebody pours gravy down Chris Wallace’s pants at Thanksgiving dinner, I promise, I’ll maintain the authorized charges!” the account stated, referring to the Fox Information anchor. One other put up stated, “The right Trump drink on a tough day,” with a photograph of a can of Natty Daddy, an inexpensive malt beer.
The weird episode illustrates how simply misinformation spreads on-line, typically with the assistance of the president himself. Proper-wing web sites that search to assist the president’s baseless claims, or just entice clicks to allow them to promote extra adverts, typically eschew the normal rules of journalism, resembling easy fact-checking. And the social media corporations support the cycle by making it easy to share misinformation, together with permitting the usage of faux accounts, and by coaching their algorithms to advertise materials that draws extra consideration, as sensational and divisive posts typically do.
Ms. Trump Grau didn’t reply to messages left at a telephone quantity and e-mail listed for her in public data.
Vice Information reported on Friday that an individual who recognized herself as Ms. Trump Grau had stated she was making an attempt to get the account deleted. “I’ve no assertion,” the particular person was quoted as telling Vice. “I’m simply irritated about this complete factor.”
President Trump’s tweet about his sister introduced the faux account a sudden rush of consideration on Friday morning. Shortly after, Mr. Dupree’s web site up to date the piece with a disclaimer that stated the account is likely to be an impostor.
“Whereas this has not been formally ‘fact-checked’ by social media executives and professionals, we’re listening to from many others that this isn’t truly the account of Ms. Elizabeth Trump,” the location stated. “We’ll go away it up with this replace, and watch for official fact-checkers to weigh in.”
Hours later, the account got here clear. “I’d’ve clarified sooner that I used to be a parody however I definitely didn’t anticipate President Trump himself taking discover of the account,” the particular person operating the account posted on Twitter. “Hope y’all will forgive me — really feel dangerous for creating any confusion. LOVE!”
The president’s put up remained up hours later.
Mr. Dupree stated in an e-mail that the article’s writer had merely rewritten a put up she had discovered on one other conservative web site. “Once I came upon, I used to be confused and I instantly went to the writer and so they went again to the web site they claimed it was from however they didn’t see it so we got here up with the assertion,” he stated. “I don’t need individuals, readers to suppose we’re faux information.”
The article remained on his web site on Friday afternoon.
By that point, Twitter had deleted the account that posed as Ms. Trump Grau. A Twitter spokesman stated the account was “completely suspended for violating the Twitter Guidelines on platform manipulation and spam.”
Simply earlier than the account was deleted, @TheBettyTrump posted one other message: “President Trump appears drained … he’s working so arduous.”
Davey Alba contributed reporting.
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