The ABC has become the unwitting target of one of Donald Trump’s famous Twitter tantrums, with the US president labelling the Australian public broadcaster “fake news”.
But in a classic case of mistaken identity, our ABC has been mistaken for, well, their ABC, after Trump mistakenly tagged the Australian public broadcast in a Tweet meant for the US commercial news network of the same name.
“For the record, I didn’t spend 30 hours with @abcnews, but rather a tiny fraction of that,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning Australian time.
“More Fake News.”
.@FoxNews Polls are always bad for me. They were against Crooked Hillary also. Something weird going on at Fox. Our polls show us leading in all 17 Swing States. For the record, I didn’t spend 30 hours with @abcnews, but rather a tiny fraction of that. More Fake News @BretBaier— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2019
The Australian ABC replied with a gif and quick “G’day!” while ABC news director Gaven Morris said he hoped the Tweet would “brighten [Trump’s] day”.
The ABC’s social media coordinator, Gary Kemble, told Guardian Australia: “We often get confused with the US ABC on Twitter, but yes Trump’s tweet has taken it to another level.”
Trump was intending to respond to a (US) ABC news special which aired on Sunday night in the states.
In the interview, the president claimed former White House counsel Don McGahn “may have been confused” when he told the Mueller investigation Trump instructed him multiple times to have the acting attorney general remove the special counsel because of perceived conflicts of interest.
Trump also said he had been treated worse than any US president, including Abraham Lincoln, who was shot and killed, and became visibly upset when an aide coughed during an interview.
While Twitter, of course, responded the way Twitter responds to these things:
The 45th US president has a long track record of finger slips on his favourite social media platform.
Only last week, a presidential typo made it seem Trump was suggesting he’d met a royal marine mammal on his trip to the UK when he Tweeted that he’d met the “Prince of Whales”.
Most famous, and most famously overegged, was his May 2017 effort: “Despite the negative press covfefe”, a declarative linguistic snafu of such peculiar force that it prompted its own kind-of cultural revelation.