President Trump retweeted a meme on Sunday morning that showed him hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball, prompting another round of outrage from critics who felt the president’s tweets had once again crossed the line.
The animated GIF spliced together a clip of Trump swinging a golf club with footage of Clinton falling, apparently edited to appear as though a golf ball had struck her down.
The image was originally posted as a reply to the president by a Twitter user named @Fuctupmind, whose bio consists of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton hashtags.
“Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary,” the user wrote in the caption.
The retweet immediately drew hundreds of Trump’s critics and supporters into a familiar vortex of debate, with many criticizing the GIF for seeming to encourage violence and others defending the president.
“You’re a child. Beneath the dignity of your office. Grow up. Be a man,” the actor James Morrison replied to Trump.
“The man is unfit,” declared Walter M. Shaub Jr., the former director of the independent Office of Government Ethics who resigned in July after clashing with the White House.
Trump’s love of Twitter and his propensity to post controversial tweets — often very late at night or first thing in the morning — is well known. The golf-swing repost, however, was part of an unusual retweet spree in which Trump shared at least half a dozen tweets from other accounts that showed him in a favorable light. Three were from an account called “Trumpism 5.0,” which included a train wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
It wasn’t the first time that Trump has share a controversial doctored image on Twitter. In July — on another Sunday morning, just before Independence Day — Trump tweeted an edited video clip that showed him slamming a man with “CNN” superimposed on his head to the ground. In the video, Trump then throws punches at the man’s head, before walking away.
Trump appended the tweet with two hashtags: “#FraudNewsCNN” and “#FNN.”
The tweet prompted a round of condemnation by mostly Democratic lawmakers, who blasted Trump for being ‘crude, false, and unpresidential.’ A little-known Reddit user claimed credit for the doctored CNN video; the fact that the president had sent it out to his millions of followers soon reverberated across r/The_Donald, an pro-Trump Reddit subgroup, as The Post's Avi Selk reported:
Han‑‑‑‑‑‑‑Solo: “Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!”
Joy echoed across r/The_Donald, which a day earlier had been more interested in conspiracy theories about the Clintons killing people and stick-figure drawings of Californians embarrassing themselves.
“TWEETED by the PRESIDENT,” one of many admirers wrote. “Now it’s confirmed that Trump sees our memes.”
“We all wish for such validation.”
Last month, a few days after the racially charged unrest in Charlottesville, where a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters and killed a woman, Trump retweeted an image of a train running over a CNN reporter. “Fake news can’t stop the Trump train,” the image read. It was later removed from Trump’s account.
About 9 a.m. Sunday, Trump began retweeting himself, sharing two of his tweets from Friday. One was about making his entry ban “far larger, tougher and more specific,” and the other referred to cutting off Internet access for “loser terrorists.”
Representatives for Clinton did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday. The original footage in the golf-swing GIF is from 2011, when Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, tripped while boarding her plane in Yemen.
Clinton has been on a book tour promoting “What Happened,” her post-mortem of the 2016 presidential campaign. In it, she calls Trump a “creep” and says her “skin crawled” as he loomed behind her at a presidential debate in St. Louis.
After Trump tweeted a reference to Clinton’s new book last week (“She lost the debates and lost her direction!”), she offered to mail him a copy of the picture book version of her 2006 “It Takes a Village.”
“If you didn’t like that book, try this one — some good lessons in here about working together to solve problems,” Clinton tweeted at Trump.