You may have seen a tweet, purportedly from President Donald Trump, that refers to the “Dow Joans” and talks about firing people into the sun with a cannon.
Sadly, we must inform you that it is absolutely a fake.
Shaun Usher, the man behind the Letters Of Note website and book, posted a screenshot of what looked like a textbook Trump tweet on Monday. Featuring unnecessary quotation marks, lots of exclamation marks and random capitalized words, it looked like the real deal.
As stock markets crashed, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average suffering their biggest percentage drops since 2011, the purported Trump tweet, dated Feb. 25, 2015, seemed especially timely ― particularly as the president has repeatedly trumpeted stock market gains as an indicator of his administration’s success.
Usher quickly admitted the tweet was a fake, but that didn’t stop it from clocking (at time of publication) more than 13,000 retweets.
Usher posted his clarification just 15 minutes after his original tweet, but it was too late. His fake Trump tweet rocketed around the internet, with thousands of people seemingly believing that, in 2015, Trump actually floated the possibility of firing sitting presidents into the Earth’s sun with a cannon.
Leaving aside the issue of whether the planet, let alone the United States, actually possesses a weapon of such power to literally propel a living human across the solar system and into the sun, lots of people believed the tweet was real.
Usher started getting worried.
But he also seemed perplexed that people believed the tweet was real.
Usher later tweeted that The Washington Post and the fact-checking website Snopes had contacted him about the tweet, and sure enough, Snopes soon posted an article titled “Did Trump Tweet in 2015 That the President Should Be Shot Out of a Cannon if the ‘Dow Joans’ Tanks?”
“Naively thought it too ridiculous to be believable. Says a lot, really. Was going to delete it but it was everywhere within minutes: feels like I need to leave it up in its place of birth,” Usher told Snopes.
So no, Trump did not tweet about the possibility of presidents being fired into the sun based on the performance of the stock market. Sorry to break it to you.