On Tuesday, the Reddit user (“HanAssholeSolo”) who took credit for creating the WWE-themed meme that President Donald Trump tweeted revealed that Trump actually did not post the original video the user made.
According to the Reddit user, the original video did not have any sound whereas the video Trump posted on Twitter in which he gives WWE Chairman Vince McMahon—who has a superimposed CNN logo over his face—a beatdown does have sound (Jerry “The King” Lawler’s voice along with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s theme music can be heard).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
Outlets like CNN searched the user’s posting history and tried to make the case that the wrestling meme may be “racist” and “anti-semitic.” A White House official told media outlets that the video Trump tweeted was not pulled from Reddit. The reporter (Jared Yates Sexton) who first revealed the Reddit user’s racist postings said he received death threats after he published his findings before promptly blaming Trump for the “hateful environment.”
“This environment is the creation of the man in the White House,” he tweeted.
The Reddit user apologized to the reddit community and for previous posts that were admittedly “racist, bigoted, and [anti-semitic].”
“HanAssholeSolo” also said the post was “in no way advocating” violence “in any way, shape or form” and emphasized that the original post is not what ended up on Trump’s Twitter feed.
“The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation. I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President’s Twitter feed. It was a prank, nothing more,” the Reddit user wrote. “What the President’s feed showed was not the original post that was posted here, but was loaded up somewhere else and sound sound added to it then sent out to Twitter. I thought it was the original post that was made and that is why I took credit for it.”
The Reddit user apologized to the “members of this community, the site, the media (especially CNN), and anyone offended by the posts.”
“I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people from all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts,” the user wrote. “I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did.”
On Monday, CNN cited the the left-wing Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) statement about the Reddit user’s past postings that expressed hate “against Muslims, African-Americans, Jews, and others.” The network said the video Trump posted raised “questions” about “racism, bigotry, and violence … [and] antisemitism,” as Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak noted.
Pollak, who remembered seeing the meme on Twitter before Trump posted it, pointed out, though, that “neither the ADL nor CNN provides any evidence that President Trump sourced the video from that user, or that he even knew the source, or the source’s posting history.” Pollak also noted that “there is nothing in the wrestling video itself — which is based on a staged fight several years ago between Trump and World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon — that is racist, antisemitic, or otherwise bigoted.”
The Reddit user’s apology was reportedly deleted by the group’s moderators.
See screenshots of the apology below:
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) July 4, 2017