The "ISIS" Video That Donald Trump Tweeted Looks Fake & It's Not The First Time He's Shared Wrong Info
Donald Trump is known, even celebrated, for his tendency to say what's on his mind, whether it's in an interview, on the debate stage, or on Twitter. As powerful as it seems for a presidential candidate to speak openly and genuinely about the issues that the United States faces, Trump's filter-less dialogue could use a reality check. On Saturday, Trump tweeted a likely doctored video that was intended to show that a thwarted attacker at a campaign rally had ties to ISIS.
It all started at a Trump event in Ohio on Saturday. As he spoke to the crowd, Trump was suddenly swarmed by Secret Service agents when a man tried to rush onto the stage. That man, Thomas Dimassimo, was escorted out of the rally, which took place outside of Dayton, and eventually released. Later that day, Trump tweeted that the man should not have been let go because of his alleged ties to the extremist terrorist group. With the tweet was a video that shows Dimassimo participating in a protest at Wright State University in Dayton. As BuzzFeed reports, the video that Trump posted appears to have been edited to add ISIS-like music and images behind footage that Dimassimo himself posted of the peaceful protest back in April 2015.
It's hard to tell where Trump got the video. The account that posted it has since been deleted. Dimassimo made the original video in support of Eric Sheppard, a student at Valdosta State University in Georgia who was arrested last year after stomping on the American flag on campus. The original video shows Dimassimo chanting, "Black lives matter," while others appear to challenge his protest.
This isn't the first time that Trump has tweeted out a message with falsified content. In fact, it's far from it. In February, Trump tweeted an image of one of his campaign events with a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. Aside from the obvious irony of someone as brash and argumentative as Trump referencing a Gandhi quote, the larger problem is that the quote was almost certainly never said by Gandhi.
In November, Trump quote-tweeted a photo (that has since been removed from Twitter) that showed inaccurate statistics about murder in the U.S. According to The Huffington Post, the graphic claims that 81 percent of white people who were murdered in 2015 were killed by black people. According to the FBI, though, about 82 percent of murders involving white people were actually committed by other white people. The FBI also had not released data for 2015 at the time of Trump's tweet. In January, the FBI released a preliminary report about crime in 2015, but it did not report data based on race or ethnicity of the people involved.
Trump's unfiltered social media antics, which are beloved by many voters, seem to be spreading misinformation on a regular basis. In the case of Dimassimo's alleged ISIS ties, the Secret Service has said that it is not aware of any connection. Then again, if someone on the Internet says it's true, then it must be, right?