NeverTrumper Adam Kinzinger Falls for Infamous Sam Hyde Prank in ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ Tweet

Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

NeverTrump Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) fell victim to internet pranksters over the weekend, retweeting the viral hoax that the “Ghost of Kyiv,” an alleged Ukrainian fighter ace, was a man called “Samuyil Hyde.” Tricksters are quick to spread memes naming American comedian Sam Hyde as the culprit in media events such as mass shootings. In this case, Rep. Kinzinger fell for a poor photoshop of Hyde into a cockpit along with an ethnic spin on his name.

The meme, which spread quickly on social media after news of the “Ghost of Kyiv” started to trend, is a variant on the long-running Sam Hyde prank, which claims that the American comedian Sam Hyde is responsible for newsworthy events, particularly those involving mass casualties.

In a now-deleted tweet, Rep. Kinzinger, who has been censured by the GOP for serving on the January 6 commission, during which he infamously broke down in tears, retweeted one of the pranksters, praising “Samuyil” for “owning” the Russian air force.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) wipes his eyes as he listens to testimony during the Select Committee investigation of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, during their first hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. - The committee is hearing testimony from members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department who tried to protect the Capitol against insurrectionists on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


Comedian Sam Hyde (YouTube)

“The #ghostofkyiv has a name, and he has absolutely OWNED the Russian Airforce,” said Rep. Kinzinger. “Godspeed and more kills, Samuyil!”

The tweet was archived by ProPublica’s Politwoops project, which tracks deleted tweets by public officials.

Anonymous pranksters delight in convincing media organizations and public officials that Sam Hyde is responsible for various headline-making events.

In 2017, for example, pranksters briefly convinced Democrat congressman Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)  that Sam Hyde was responsible for a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Rep. Gonzalez then repeated the hoax on CNN.

Pranksters have spread other memes of Hyde participating in the conflict, such as one naming him as a fallen Ukrainian soldier.

Hyde himself, posting in character as a mock leftist, lambasted the war over “Diet Russia.”

The “Ghost of Kyiv” is an alleged Ukrainian fighter ace, responsible, according to some viral social media posts, of shooting down six Russian planes.

However, the existence of both the pilot and his alleged kill count are still unconfirmed, even by Ukrainian officials.

Some on social media continue to eagerly share unconfirmed rumors about the “ghost.”

Author Jessica Scott shared a rumor that the “ghost” is a female fighter pilot, only to later find out that the image she shared was from several years ago.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created fertile ground for rumors and hoaxes of all kinds.

Twitter’s fact-checkers, which reacted with lightning speed to censor President Trump during the 2020 election, as well as the infamous Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” stories, do not appear to be taking significant action to contain misinformation and unconfirmed rumors around the Ukraine conflict.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.



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