Just hours after finally denouncing white supremacists for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump retweeted the words of an internet troll with ties to an alt-right leader.
On Monday morning, Jack Posobiec tweeted: “Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?” On Monday night, Trump, long a critic of Chicago’s leaders’ response to violence, retweeted the post.
Posobiec has ties to the alt-right leader Richard Spencer and used social media to draw attention to “pizzagate,” an unfounded conspiracy theory that claims Democrats were harboring child sex slaves at a Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant.
Trump also appears to have mistakenly retweeted a message from one of his critics saying “he’s a fascist.”
Trump deleted his retweet Tuesday after about five minutes, but not before the message sent to his 35 million followers racked up a big response.
Trump seems to have been trying to draw attention to a Fox & Friends article on a possible presidential pardon for former Phoenix-area Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who is facing a criminal contempt of court case involving immigration patrols.
A Twitter handle identified as “@MikeHolden42” tweeted to Trump “He’s a fascist, so not unusual.” The user suggested in subsequent tweets that he was calling Trump a facist, not Arpaio.
Trump retweeted the message to his massive following, triggering an avalanche of replies. @Mike Holden42 responded: “I’m announcing my retirement from Twitter. I’ll never top this RT.” He later updated his description on Twitter as “Officially Endorsed by the President of the United States.”
On Tuesday, Trump also retweeted and deleted a cartoon showing a train labeled “Trump” running over a man with “CNN” covering his face Monday morning.
Contributing: Associated Press