CNN Backs Trump on ‘Unified Reich’ Hoax: Network Confirms It Was Oversight Not Dog Whistle

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is introduced during the CNN presidential d
Ethan Miller/Getty Images, File

CNN conducted an investigation into a video posted on former President Donald Trump’s social media containing the words, “unified Reich” and supported the Trump campaign’s explanation that it had been an “oversight” and “not a fascist dog whistle.”

Jon Sarlin, a reporter for CNN, shared the findings in a post on X and revealed that the words appearing in a video that was posted on Trump’s Truth Social account were “an oversight, not a fascist dog whistle” and had been created to be used as a placeholder by Enes Şimşek, a Turkish graphic designer.

Sarlin’s words come after Karoline Leavitt, the national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, described the words appearing in the video as having been an oversight.

“This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the President was in court,” Leavitt explained.

Sarlin explained in his post on X that the network had “tracked down the source of the ‘unified Reich’ phrase in the now deleted Trump video,” and added that “All signs point to it’s inclusion being an oversight, not a fascist dog whistle.”

“It comes from a 30 year-old Turkish graphic designer who in 2023 randomly copy and pasted it as placeholder text for a vintage video template he put up for sale.”

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris criticized Trump for the video shared on his Truth Social account featuring fake news headlines consisting of, “Economy Booms” and “Trump Wins!” Among other headlines featured in the video was one with the words, “unified Reich.”

“A unified Reich? That’s Hitler’s language. Not America’s,” Biden said in a video shared to X. “He cares about holding on to power. I care about you.”

“I didn’t know it is my power to change politics…. I don’t know what could be crazier than that,” Şimşek explained to CNN. “Imagine if your work shakes a country.”

Şimşek explained to the outlet that the Trump campaign had seemingly created the video using graphics he had designed in May 2023, which provides people with the option to decide to use a template that looks similar to an old newspaper.

CNN reported:

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Şimşek said that the Trump ad appears to have been created from video graphics he built in May of last year, designed to give customers the option of building something that looked like an old-fashioned newsreel. Şimşek said he actually searched Google for text about World War I – not World War II – and copied language he found and pasted it into in the newspaper article: “German industrial strength and production had significantly increased after 1871, driven by the creation of a unified Reich.”

As first reported by the AP, the phrase appeared to have been lifted from a Wikipedia entry on World War I. According to Wikipedia’s logs, that phrase was created on November 15, 2022, and it has since been removed. The phrase does not reference Nazi Germany.

The video was deleted from Trump’s social media account on Tuesday.

Şimşek told the outlet that the text was meant to be replaced, adding that the Trump campaign reportedly kept the wording. Roughly 16 copies of the video template created by the graphic designer were sold for $21, Şimşek said.


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