In news that will surprise approximately, err... nobody, President Donald Trump is facing backlash for something he shared on Twitter. This time, it's for retweeting an account associated with QAnon (an online conspiracy theory group), that promoted the idea Bin Laden isn't really dead. The account claimed that US Navy SEALs faked the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed the Al-Qaeada leader and actually only killed his body double, after following instruction from Joe Biden.
Robert O'Neill, a former Navy SEAL who claims he was responsible for killing Bin Laden, has responded to Trump disputing any rumours that the terrorist is still alive: "Very brave men said goodby [sic] to their kids to go kill Osama bin Laden. We were given the order by President Obama. It was not a body double. Thank you Mr. President. Happy birthday @USNavy."
He also later appeared on CNN to discuss the President's promotion of false stories, where he said "Every man who was on that mission is alive... we all kissed our kids goodbye expecting death, because of what happened on 9/11 we were willing to do it. Just right now, to see conspiracy theories being thrown around due to politics, it's an insult to real people."
When pushed by on his choice to retweet by broadcaster and moderator, Savannah Guthrie, Trump said a town hall-style interview, "That was a retweet, I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves." Guthrie responded by telling the President, "You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle!"
On the subject of conspiracy theories rising in popularity, O'Neill added during his television appearance, "You are really trampling on the graves of some of the best heroes I have ever personally worked with. It's just a shame that we've gotten there because of politics."
This is far from Trump's first time for being called out over his use of social media – back in 2018, a federal court ruled that he was no longer allowed to continue blocking people (a former favourite habit of the orange-hued politician). Earlier this year, during the middle of a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, he tried to petition authority figures into overturning the ruling. Not sure if that's the most pressing issue he could've been dealing with...
It's not the first time Trump has argued his case on that issue either – to no avail. When the case was taken to the federal appeals court last year, they also ruled that because the President often uses the account to make major and official announcements, it was unlawful to block anyone from accessing this content.
Maybe it's time he stepped away from the phone for a while?
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