Twitter added another warning label to one of Donald Trump‘s tweets after the president shared a doctored — and obviously misspelled — clip of a faked CNN report about a “racist baby” supposedly chasing a Black “todler.”
The doctored clip presents itself as a fact-check, and falsely accuses CNN of manipulating a feel-good story about two children hugging. The first part of the clip shows a white toddler running behind a Black toddler. The seemingly doctored caption reads: “Terrified todler (sic) runs from racist baby.”
The clip then cuts to footage from the real CNN clip, in which the boys are shown hugging and talking together while happy music plays in the background. “America is not the problem. Fake news is,” a message says at the end.
The clip appears to have been pulled from a feel-good story, reported by CNN and others in September 2019, in which two toddlers run to embrace each other on the street.
Twitter tagged Trump’s clip as “manipulated media” on Thursday night in its latest effort to provide context for some of the president’s misleading and false claims on social media. A watermark on the clip shows it was created by a user who tweets a steady stream of manipulated, pro-Trump videos and memes.
Dozens of journalists replied to the video to flag the original news story. Several others pointed out that the president — who often complains of “fake news” — had shared a fake piece of “news” while claiming to oppose it.
CNN Communications responded to the tweet by sharing a link to its original coverage of the story.
“We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children,” CNN Communications wrote. “We invite you to do the same. Be better.”
CNN revisited the story by interviewing the boys, named Maxwell and Finnegan, along with their parents, earlier this month. Social media posts show the news outlet presenting the story in its proper context.
Trump posted the manipulated video without a caption on Thursday night, amid country-wide protests against anti-Black racism and on the evening before Juneteenth, the day used to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Trump claimed on Thursday that he made Juneteenth “very famous,” after he was criticized for scheduling a MAGA rally on that date.
Trump complained of a double standard around “fake and fraudulent ads” on Friday morning, asking why Democrats haven’t been “called out” for doing the same. He did not cite specific examples in his tweet.
Trump addressed the new tag amid a flurry of tweets on Friday morning. He also appeared to threaten anyone who might want to protest his upcoming rally in Tulsa, Okla., which has been moved to Saturday.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” Trump wrote. “It will be a much different scene!”
Trump drew international attention and criticism on June 1 when his security teams cracked down on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in order to clear a path for him to stage a photo op at a nearby church.
The crackdown came a few days after Trump lashed out at a Twitter fact-check by signing an executive order targeting social media companies. Trump was responding to Twitter having added a “get the facts” tag to his misleading tweets about mail-in voting.
Twitter has also tagged a Trump tweet for “glorifying violence” in violation of its terms and conditions.
The manipulated CNN video was still live on Twitter Friday morning.